Impact of fatigue on performance in registered nurses: data mining and implications for practice.

Kalyan S. Pasupathy, Linsey M. Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Performance of nurses has a direct effect on the quality and safety of care that is delivered. Fatigue has been identified as a factor that leads to performance decrements in healthcare workers, especially nurses. Determining associations between dimensions of fatigue and performance is imperative to better understanding fatigue in nurses and the potential implications for both patient and provider safety. This article identifies associations between ranges of fatigue levels and significant differences in perceived performance, and analyzes interactions between fatigue dimensions in relation to perceived performance scores. Overall, mental fatigue tended to have higher perceived performance decrements than physical and total fatigue in the highest fatigue ranges. As physical fatigue begins to develop in nurses, physical exertion rather than discomfort is more critical to perceived performance. As acute fatigue levels increase, perceived performance levels continue to decrease, whereas the role of chronic fatigue is relatively constant. Minimizing the development of acute fatigue may help in maintaining higher performance levels. The findings from this study provide valuable information in quantifying the changes in perceived performance with regard to specific fatigue levels, as well as an initial understanding of how the individual dimensions and states of fatigue vary in their association with perceived performance decrements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22-30
Number of pages9
JournalJournal for healthcare quality : official publication of the National Association for Healthcare Quality
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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