Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2004, $1,499,969)
A solid body of research indicates that shift work and long work hours reduce alertness and cognitive skills, degrade performance and decision making abilities, increase accidents, and increase vulnerability to illness and stress. Objective 1 of this project is to conduct a randomized, prospective study of the effect on the safety, health and performance of a Comprehensive Police Fatigue Management Program in the Boston Police Department. Interventions will include (a) scheduling improvements and policy developments to mitigate the adverse effects of extended duration work shifts and long work weeks; (b) identification and treatment of police with sleep-wake disorders; (c) caffeine re-education; and (d) initiation of a sleep, health and safety educational program for officers and their families. The total sample size is 1,000 police officers across ten police districts (500 in FMP and 500 in standard treatment group).
Objective 2 is to conduct a nationwide, prospective police health and safety study to expand our understanding of the nature, scope, etiology, and consequences of police fatigue, and enhance our ability to develop and provide fatigue management polices and guidelines that can be generalized across police departments nationwide.
Objective 3 is to test a homeland security intervention for maintaining vigilance in defense of the nation during elevated national security threats and other occasions when police are required to work long hours. The grantee will evaluate the efficacy of modafinil, an FDA approved treatment for Shift Work Sleep Disorder, as a fatigue countermeasure during unavoidable extended shifts. ca/ncf