• fatigue;
  • sleep;
  • depression;
  • critical care nursing;
  • work schedule tolerance;
  • nurses;
  • shift workers


The purposes of this study were to examine shift-related differences in chronic fatigue and the contributions of sleep quality, anxiety, and depression to chronic fatigue among a random nationwide sample (N = 142) of female critical care nurses. Twenty-three percent of this sample met criteria for clinical depression. Day and night nurses did not differ in their reports of chronic fatigue. Night nurses reported more depression and poorer sleep quality than did day nurses. Regression analyses indicated that among the variables of global sleep quality, depression, and anxiety, depression and sleep quality were the most relevant to the explanation of chronic fatigue. These findings suggest the need for studies of strategies to promote sleep and improve mood in critical care nurses. © 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Res Nurs Health 26:434–444, 2003