Objective The inadequate conditions of nursing work have been associated with illness of workers and, consequently, decreasing the Work Ability Index (WAI) and higher levels of fatigue. Often it is observed that sickened workers continue working, performing their activities with restrictions by physical or mental health problems. Thus, we became interested in verifying the association between the work ability index and fatigue among workers who have restriction to perform daily activities or not.
Methods This is a cross-sectional epidemiological study, with 100 workers of population. It was conducted in medical and surgical units of a University Hospitalin Sao Paulo-Brazil. For data collection was applied the WAI and Chalder Fatigue Scale. Data analysis considered the Pearson correlation coefficient to associate WAI and fatigue, and analysis of variance and chi-square test to investigate association between work restriction, gender and working hours.
Results The analysis showed that there is a moderate and negative correlation between WAI and fatigue (r = - 0.49), showing an association between lower values of WAI and higher values of fatigue. The working week bigger than 36h showed association with the WAI (p = 0.009). Working days less than 36h reduce, on average, 4-point score of WAI. Women presented higher tendency for fatigue (55.7% vs 25.0% for men) or lower average to WAI (43.1% vs 45.8% for men). There was no significant difference for the WAI (p = 0.246) and fatigue (0.752) among workers with or without work restriction.
Conclusion There is a significant correlation between work ability and fatigue of nursing personnel, however it was noted that there is no significant differences of these indexes, considering both workers with or without work restriction.
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