Are Individuals with Low Trait Anxiety Better Suited to On-Call Work?

Madeline Sprajcer, Sarah M. Jay, Grace E. Vincent, Xuan Zhou, Andrew Vakulin, Leon Lack, Sally A. Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Research has indicated that individuals with certain traits may be better suited to shiftwork and non-standard working arrangements. However, no research has investigated how individual differences impact on-call outcomes. As such, this study investigated the impact of trait anxiety on sleep and performance outcomes on-call. Seventy male participants (20–35 years) completed an adaptation night, a control night, and two on-call nights in a laboratory. Trait anxiety was determined using the State Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) X-2, and participants completed the STAI X-1 prior to bed each night to assess state anxiety. Sleep was measured using polysomnography and quantitative electroencephalographic analysis. Performance was assessed using a 10-min psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) performed each day at 0930, 1200, 1430 and 1700 h. Data pooled from three separate but inter-related studies was used for these analyses. Results indicated that the effects of trait anxiety on state anxiety, sleep and performance outcomes on-call were generally limited. These findings suggest that on-call outcomes are not negatively affected by higher levels of trait anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-486
Number of pages14
JournalClocks & Sleep
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • anxiety
  • on-call
  • qEEG
  • stress


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