Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Industrial Engineering

Committee Chair/Advisor

David Neyens

Committee Member

Mariah Magagnotti

Committee Member

Emily Tucker


Depression is a growing problem in the United States and has ballooned into a globally recognized mental health issue that affects shift workers in various fields (Lee et al., 2017). Rates of depression and anxiety have been shown to be substantially increasing and the COVID-19 pandemic amplified this prevalence of depression and anxiety. In the United States, the prevalence of depression symptoms was more than 3- fold higher during COVID-19 compared to before the pandemic (Ettman et al., 2020). The delivery of healthcare services is an ongoing and dynamic process, requiring clinicians to work in various shifts to ensure the delivery of effective and continuous patient care. As a result of this scheduling approach, it is necessary to explore the impact of shift work on both worker outcomes and mental health. This persistent strain on mental health stemming from the demands of shift work amplifies the risk of burnout among healthcare workers (Cheng et al., 2022). The objective of this thesis is to investigate the association between work-related, and demographic variables with self- reported depression severity and anxiety frequency among healthcare workers using the 2021 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data. The NHIS is conducted annually by the National Center for Health Statistics, this acts as a pivotal tool in assessing a wide array of health-related topics. To address this objective, logistic regression models were used to analyze relationships between binary outcome variables and predictor variables. Data analysis was performed using R. Healthcare workers who reported engaging in shift work during day, evening and rotating shifts were found to be more likely to report depression. Healthcare workers who reported working day, night, or rotating shifts were significantly less likely to report having frequent (daily or weekly) anxiety when compared to all other shifts. Healthcare workers are not immune from the current mental health crisis (Vizheh et al., 2020) and work needs to be done to support them, especially as shift work is foundational to providing high quality care to patients. Recognizing and addressing these challenges is essential to ensuring the wellbeing of shift workers and sustaining a resilient workforce in the future.



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