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Critique of a Research Article

Critique of a Research Article

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In this critique, the researcher will analyze an article “Influence of shift work on fatigue among nurses.” This research work was done by Su Chuan Yuan PhD, Ming Chih Choumd PhD, Chiou Jong Chen PhD, Yen Ju Lin PhD, Mei-Chu Chen Msc, Hung-Hsin LiuPhd and Hsien-Wen Kuo PhD. The main aim of their investigation was to compare the symptoms of fatigue and physiological indices in nurses who work during the day with nurses who work in shifts.

Research problem and purpose statement

Do nurses who work in shifts suffer higher levels of fatigue than those who work during the day?

This article will describe various symptoms of fatigue and physiological index in nurses that can be used in comparing the level of fatigue in nurses who work during night shift and those who work during the day. The information in this article is relevant to nursing and dental hygiene because these two fields require sober mind and a lot of attention and care. Some of the problems that have been identified as a result of working in night shift can interfere with effective working of in the nursing and dental fields.

People who work during shifts suffer continuous and accumulated sleep deprivation. The effects of sleep deprivation together with circadian rhythm lead to more fatigue in nurses who work at night as compared to those who work during. Other problems mentioned in this article that has been associated with nurses who work in shift is menstrual irregularities which can result in increased risks of sleep disturbances as well as pregnancy outcomes. The high level of fatigue and stress that nurses get from their work can hamper the quality of services that they deliver to the patients. It is therefore vital to get quick solutions to these challenges so as to improve on the services which are offered by the nurses.

To some extent, this research is practical. The practical part of it is that it uses a considerable number of participants, one hundred and seven nurses. It also applies basic methods of research such as questionnaires which were given to the nurses to measure the level of fatigue before and after the work. The research is however tedious as it involved measuring of so many parts of the body of the nurses. It also uses very complex and expensive equipments and facilities thus to an ordinary person it is not feasible. The ethical aspect of the research was well taken care of since while investigating the fatigue in the eyes, the participants were required to wear glass. The researchers had also obtained consent to go ahead with their research from the Institutional Review Board (IRB). They involved the participants ethically by giving them a form to sign as an indication that they were willing to participate in the study.

Research design


In this article, the researcher has demonstrated the use of questionnaires to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data. This research design suited the purpose for this study because it enables the researcher to obtain both qualitative and quantitative data. The researchers were well prepared and they managed to provide all the nurses with the CFF to measure the symptoms of fatigue before and after work. The nurses were also provided with the instrument to measure the CFF of the eyes a hand grasping force and Skin Water Content.


The researchers employed the use of observation methods in their research. They observed the nurses before the work and after the work in a medical centre in Taiwan. Observation method was necessary in this research because the researchers would gather their own data which they would compare with the data obtained from other techniques.

This research was comprehensive because it attempted to use all parts of the body that can be observed and that can help in measurement of stress. Also, as a way of bringing out the concept of comparison of the nurses who worked during the day and those who worked at night, the participants were grouped into two, and both groups were participated in the research. The participants also worked the same number of hours and the same work was done during the day and in the shift with the only difference being that those nurses who worked at night earned higher than those who worked during the day.

After a thorough and careful analysis of this article, we find that the research was designed properly and the methods of carrying out the research were carefully chosen in a way that they captured every aspect of the investigation. The objective of the research was targeted by dividing the participants into two groups, one that worked during the day, and another on that worked in the shift. The two groups were kept under the same amount of work and same hours and they were investigated on the symptoms of fatigue before and after the job. With the complex facilities that are applied, the research is capable of producing clear distinctions between the nurses who worked during the day and those who worked in night shift.

The limitation with this research is that the investigators are that the research does not suggest ways of overcoming this challenge. The researchers only acknowledge that the problem exists. They see the way of improving the nursing services is by dealing with shift fatigue and stress challenges but they do not suggest how. Level of experience and medical conditions of the nurses were identified as some irrelevant variables as they had no impact on the between the nurses who worked during the day and those who worked in the shift. There is also no evidence in the article that pilot study findings were used to design the major study.

Researcher’s interpretation of the findings

Following the intense research that was conducted, the researchers arrived at some crucial findings. The nurses who worked in the shift were found to be more fatigued as compared to those who worked during the day. Drowsiness and lack of sleep, feeling uncomfortable and difficulty in concentrating were some of the symptoms that were associated with the nurses who worked in shifts and who were found to be more fatigued. The level of fatigue among the nurses ranged in different levels and this was attributed to various external factors such as individual psychology, coping differences and lifestyle. One of the most strongly lifestyle factor that was identified to have been contributed significantly in levels of fatigue is poor sleeping quality.

The researcher had some expectations that nurses who worked in the shift would have some adverse effects as compared to nurses who worked during the day. This outcome of their investigation actually as it was predicted. The research revealed that there was no significant difference in the CFF worked during the day and those who worked in the shift. Also, the research did not identify any significant difference in a near point distance in the two groups before and after the research. These two insignificant concepts are however not explained by the researchers. The study identified significant difference in the visual fatigue between the nurses who worked during the day and those who worked in the shift. There was also a significant difference in WC in the forearm and calves in both groups of nurses before and after work. This study however does not give an explanation as to why there is either a significant difference or insignificant difference in the findings.


The researcher recommends that since work shifts affect the circadian rhythm that lead to sleep deprivation and fatigue, then nurses who work in shifts should be allowed two days off before starting their next shift.

The researcher also recommends that the nurses should be taking a well balanced diet and take daily regular exercises to keep them fit and also to lower work dependent fatigue and musculoskeletal symptoms.

Generally, fatigue has adverse health effects and it may cause physical or mental impairment. Since nurses are very important in the field of medicine, the issue of stress and fatigue in their work should be taken into consideration and the solution should be sought immediately. This research can be directed to all scientists for further investigations on the solutions that can help in solving the problems that have already been identified by this research. This research can also be recommended to health workers to encourage them to practice healthy living practices as a way of coping with the stress and fatigue in their work.

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