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Acute and cumulative effects of scheduling on aircrew fatigue in ultra-short-haul operations
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Stress Research Institute. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8049-8504
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Number of Authors: 62021 (English)In: Journal of Sleep Research, ISSN 0962-1105, E-ISSN 1365-2869, Vol. 30, no 5, article id e13305Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Aircrew fatigue constitutes a safety hazard in aviation, which authorities attempt to mitigate through flight time limitations. Some gaps in knowledge exist, however. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the associations of schedule characteristics with fatigue and amount of sleep in the acute 24-h window, and as cumulative effects across the 7-day work period. One hundred and six aircrew (14% cabin crew) participated. They rated fatigue on the Karolinska Sleepiness Scale (KSS) three times per flight day for four 7-day work periods, with up to 7 days off between work periods. Mixed model regression was applied to the data. In the multivariable model, more sleep was associated with lower fatigue (p = .000)), corresponding to 0.26 KSS units less per hour of sleep. Very early, early and late duty types, as well as duty time, were associated with higher fatigue. For the 7-day work period, accumulation of very early duties and longer duty time were associated with increased fatigue, and more accumulated sleep was associated with lower fatigue in the adjusted model (0.08 KSS units per hour of sleep) (p = .000). Accumulated duty time was not significant when analysed as a single variable, but became so after adjustment for sleep. The results suggest that sleep, duty time and early starts are important predictors of fatigue in the 24-h window and that the number of very early starts and short sleep have cumulative effects on fatigue across a 7-day work period.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. Vol. 30, no 5, article id e13305
Keywords [en]
cabin crew, pilots, sleep, sleepiness, work hours
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-192333DOI: 10.1111/jsr.13305ISI: 000621583000001PubMedID: 33631838OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-192333DiVA, id: diva2:1545374
Available from: 2021-04-19 Created: 2021-04-19 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Åkerstedt, Torbjörn

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