A1 Journal article (refereed)
The effects of using participatory working time scheduling software on sickness absence : a difference-in-differences study (2020)

Turunen, J., Karhula, K., Ropponen, A., Koskinen, A., Hakola, T., Puttonen, S., Hämäläinen, K., Pehkonen, J., & Härmä, M. (2020). The effects of using participatory working time scheduling software on sickness absence : a difference-in-differences study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 112, Article 103716. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103716

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Turunen, Jarno; Karhula, Kati; Ropponen, Annina; Koskinen, Aki; Hakola, Tarja; Puttonen, Sampsa; Hämäläinen, Kari; Pehkonen, Jaakko; Härmä, Mikko

Journal or series: International Journal of Nursing Studies

ISSN: 0020-7489

eISSN: 1873-491X

Publication year: 2020

Volume: 112

Article number: 103716

Publisher: Elsevier

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2020.103716

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/72714


Background Participatory working time scheduling is a collaborative approach to scheduling shift work. As a potential way of improving work time control, it may provide a means to reducing sickness absence in shift work. So far, experimental and quasi-experimental studies on the effects of increased work time control on sickness absence are lacking. Objective To investigate the effects of using digital participatory working time scheduling software on ward-level sickness absence among Finnish hospital employees. Participants and methods This quasi-experimental study compared the amount of sickness absence in hospital wards using participatory working time scheduling software (n=121 wards) and those continuing with traditional working time scheduling (n=117 wards) between 2014 and 2017. We used continuous panel data from 238 hospital wards with a total number of 9000 hospital employees (89% of women, primarily nursing staff). The ward-level measures consisted of number of employees, working hours, sickness absence spells per employee, and short (1–3) sickness absence days per employee. Two-way fixed effects and event study regressions with clustered standard errors were used to estimate the effect of using participatory scheduling software on sickness absence. Results Sickness absence spells and short (1–3) sickness absence days decreased by 6% and 7%, respectively in the wards using participatory scheduling compared to those using traditional scheduling. The effect became stronger as the time measured in quarters of using the participatory working time scheduling software increased. Conclusions The effects of using participatory working time scheduling software indicated less ward-level sickness absence measured as spells and days in comparison to continuing with traditional scheduling. The encouraging findings are relevant not only to the health care sector but also to other sectors in which irregular shift work is a necessity. This study was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02775331) before starting the intervention phase.

Keywords: nursing (work); shift work; working hours; time management; sickness absences

Free keywords: health care; nursing; self-rostering; shift work; sickness absence; work time control

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2020

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2021-07-07 at 21:34