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Exploring the impact of sleep‐related impairments on the perceived general health and retention intent of an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) sample

Gary Blau (Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 21 June 2011

Abstract

Purpose

Little research has been done in studying the impact of sleep‐related impairments on the perceived health and retention intent of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers. This paper aims to fill some of the gaps.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a time‐lagged research design to test the impact of three sleep impairments measured in 2005, i.e. sleepiness, relationship difficulty due to sleepiness, and general activity difficulty due to sleepiness, on perceived general health measured in 2006 and 2007, and 2007 intent to leave the EMS profession. Background and work‐related variables, also measured in 2005, were controlled for. A total of 288 complete data EMS repeat‐respondents constituted the study sample across the three years. Although this was only a very small percentage of the total number of respondents, this sample was found to be demographically representative of the incomplete data respondents.

Findings

The three‐sleep impairment variable set had a collective significant additional impact for explaining both years of subsequent perceived health and retention intent, beyond the controlled‐for background and work‐related variable sets. The perceived general health variable set explained a small but unique amount of additional variance in retention intent beyond the controlled for background, work‐related and sleep impairment variable sets.

Originality/value

People's lives can depend on the quick and efficient reactions of EMS workers. There has been little prior research studying the impact of sleep impairments on health and retention outcomes using an EMS sample. The results seem promising enough to suggest continued study of the impact of sleep‐related impairments on work outcomes for EMS personnel, and other samples sharing common work stresses.

Keywords

Citation

Blau, G. (2011), "Exploring the impact of sleep‐related impairments on the perceived general health and retention intent of an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) sample", Career Development International, Vol. 16 No. 3, pp. 238-253. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620431111140147

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited