Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Quality of Sleep and Well-Being of Health Workers in Najran, Saudi Arabia

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Psychiatry

Quality of Sleep and Well-Being of Health Workers in Najran, Saudi Arabia

Article excerpt

Byline: O. Olawale, O. Taiwo, Almohandes. Hesham

Background: Health care involves taking care of other peoples' lives. Professionals in the field of health care are expected to be at their best all the time because mistakes or errors could be costly and sometimes irreversible. Aim: This study assessed the quality of sleep and well-being of health workers in Najran city, Saudi Arabia. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study done among health workers from different hospitals within the kingdom of Najran, Saudi Arabia. The subjects were administered questionnaire that contained sections on demographic and clinical characteristics, sleep quality, and section relating to well-being. Results: One hundred and twenty-three health workers comprising 29 (23.6%) males and 94 (76.4%) females participated in this study. The majority of the workers 74 (60.2%) were nurses; a quarter were doctors while the remaining 13.6% accounted for other categories of health workers such as the pharmacist and laboratory technicians. Fifty-two (42.3%) of the workers were poor sleepers. Significantly (?2 = 23.98, P = 0.000), majority of the subjects that were poor sleepers (84.6%) compared with the 42.3% of the good sleepers rated the last 12 months of their profession as a bit stressful or quite a bit stressful. Similarly, 46.2% of the workers that were poor sleepers significantly (?2 = 24.69, P = 0.000) rated their ability to handle unexpected and difficult problems in their life as fair or poor compared with 14.1% of the good sleepers Conclusion: Health workers expressed some level of stress in their professional life, and a good proportion of the subjects were poor sleepers. There is, therefore, the need to establish a program within the health-care organization to address social, physical, and psychological well-being at work.


Health-care workers are health-care professionals within medicine, nursing, or allied health professions that provide preventive, curative, promotional, or rehabilitative health-care services in a systematic way to individuals, families, or communities.[1],[2] In the World Health Report 2006, the WHO defined health workers as 'all people primarily engaged in actions with the primary intent of enhancing health.'[3] The global profile indicated that there are more than 59 million health workers in the world, distributed unequally between and within countries.[3],[4]

Many jurisdictions reported shortfalls in the number of trained health workers to meet health needs of the population. At international level, world health organization estimated a shortage of almost 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses, and support workers worldwide to meet target coverage levels of essential primary health-care interventions.[3] In Uganda, the ministry of health reported that as many as 50% of staffing positions for health workers in rural and underserved areas remain vacant.[5] Without adequate numbers of trained and employed health workers, people cannot access the care they need, particularly the global poor.

The impact of shortage of health workers for populations is lack of access to essential health services such as prevention, information, drug distribution, emergencies, clinical care, and life-saving interventions. For health-care workers, the effect is an overwhelming workload and stress, which can lead to lack of motivation, fatigue, absenteeism, breakdowns, illness, migration, or even career change outside of the health field.[6],[7]

Stress in the workplace is pervasive in the health-care industry because of inadequate staffing level, long work hours, exposure to infectious diseases and hazardous substances leading to illness or death, and in some countries, threat of malpractice and litigations.[6],[7],[8] The national institute of occupational safety and health, USA and a national report in Canada expressed that health-care workers have higher rates of substance abuse and suicide than other professions and elevated levels of depression and anxiety linked to job stress. …

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