The Relationship Between Shiftwork and Violence Against Nurses: A Case Control Study

Steve Sun, Susan G Gerberich, Andrew Ryan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study investigated the potential relationship between shiftwork and work-related physical assault (PA) against nurses who are at high risk of violence globally. Nurses (6,300), randomly selected from the licensing database and working in Minnesota, were surveyed regarding PA experiences. Through a nested case-control study, nurses who reported a PA in the previous 12 months and controls who were randomly selected from their assault-free working months, respectively, identified exposures experienced during the month prior to the assault month (cases) and the random non-PA months (controls). Comparing case and control exposures, shiftwork was examined relevant to PA. Among 310 cases and 946 controls, most worked 8 hours or less (87%, 88%) during day shifts (44%, 70%). Multivariable analyses (odds ratios [ORs] and 95% confidence intervals [CIs]) revealed increased risk of PA for nurses working evening (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = [1.05, 2.27]), night (OR = 3.54, 95% CI = [2.31, 5.44]), and rotating day and evening (OR = 2.88, 95% CI = [1.22, 6.80]) shifts, which provides a basis for intervention opportunities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)603-611
Number of pages9
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported, in part, by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services (RO1-OH007816, T42-OH008434); the Midwest Center for Occupational Health and Safety Education and Research Center, Center for Violence Prevention and Control and Regional Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Minnesota.


  • case-control study
  • health care
  • occupational injuries
  • physical assault
  • shiftwork
  • workforce

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