Fatigue | SleepTrackTXT Feasibility and Pilot Study

Fatigue research study

What is the primary objective of this study?

Aim 1: To determine if real-time assessments of perceived sleepiness and fatigue using text-messaging impacts an emergency medicine clinician's Attitudes, Perceived Norms, Self-Efficacy, Alertness Habits, Perceived Importance of Fatigue, Knowledge of Sleepiness/Fatigue, and Perceptions of Environmental Constraints regarding behaviors that can improve alertness during shift work. Aim 2: To determine if text-messaging emergency care workers fatigue-reduction strategies in real-time at the start and during shift work reduces worker perceived sleepiness and fatigue at the end of shift work.

Who is eligible to participate?

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Are 18 years of age or older; 2. Currently work in the emergency medicine setting as an emergency physician, emergency nurse, or emergency medical technician (EMT) / paramedic worker; 3. Currently working shifts as part of your employment in the emergency medicine setting; 4. Have a cell-phone / smartphone that can receive and send text-messages; 5. Willing to take part in a research study where you are required to send and receive multiple text-messages at the start, during, and end of your shift work? Exclusion Criteria: 1: Those that do not meet inclusion criteria.

Which medical condition, disease, disorder, syndrome, illness, or injury is researched?


Study Interventions

Interventions can include giving participants drugs, medical devices, procedures, vaccines, and other products that are either investigational or already available or noninvasive approaches such as surveys, education, and interviews.

Behavioral:Text-message assessments onlyText message assessments only. No intervention for high level fatigue.

Behavioral:Text-message interventions for high level fatigueIntervention messages to promote alertness while on duty at work including activities. Additionally at the end of the shift, participants were queried on their adoption of the suggested activities and perception of the activities' effectiveness.

Study Arms

Research studies and clinical trials typically have two or more research arms. An arm is a group of people who receive the same treatment in the study.

Control GroupThe control group will receive text-message assessments only at the start, during, and end of shift. These queries will attempt to capture the worker's self-reported sleepiness, fatigue, and occurrence of work-related injury during shift work.

Intervention GroupThe intervention group will receive the same text-message assessments as the control group. In addition, these subjects will receive text-message interventions for high level fatigue for reducing fatigue and sleepiness during shift work if they report a high-level of fatigue or sleepiness at the start or during their shift. These subjects will then receive additional text message queries at the end of their shifts to determine if they adopted a strategy for reducing perceived sleepiness or fatigue.

Study Status


Start Date: January 2014

Completed Date: June 2014

Phase: Early Phase 1

Type: Interventional


Primary Outcome: Self-Reported Fatigue at End of Shift Work

Secondary Outcome: Attitude One Subscale of the Sleep Fatigue and Alertness Behavior (SFAB) Tool

Study sponsors, principal investigator, and references

Principal Investigator: Daniel Patterson, PhD

Lead Sponsor: University of Pittsburgh


More information:

Patterson PD, Moore CG, Weaver MD, Buysse DJ, Suffoletto BP, Callaway CW, Yealy DM. Mobile phone text messaging intervention to improve alertness and reduce sleepiness and fatigue during shiftwork among emergency medicine clinicians: study protocol for the SleepTrackTXT pilot randomized controlled trial. Trials. 2014 Jun 21;15:244. doi: 10.1186/1745-6215-15-244.

Patterson PD, Buysse DJ, Weaver MD, Callaway CW, Yealy DM. Recovery between Work Shifts among Emergency Medical Services Clinicians. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2015 Jul-Sep;19(3):365-75. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2014.995847. Epub 2015 Feb 6.

Patterson PD, Klapec SE, Weaver MD, Guyette FX, Platt TE, Buysse DJ. Differences in Paramedic Fatigue before and after Changing from a 24-hour to an 8-hour Shift Schedule: A Case Report. Prehosp Emerg Care. 2016;20(1):132-6. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2015.1025158. Epub 2015 May 15.

Patterson PD, Buysse DJ, Weaver MD, Doman JM, Moore CG, Suffoletto BP, McManigle KL, Callaway CW, Yealy DM. Real-time fatigue reduction in emergency care clinicians: The SleepTrackTXT randomized trial. Am J Ind Med. 2015 Oct;58(10):1098-113. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22503. Epub 2015 Aug 25.

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