Research & Development

Longitudinal, experimental evaluation of reduced weekly working hours for assistant nurses

Bengt Lorentzon M.Sc. Pacta Guideline Research, Sweden.  Med Dr. Fei Yang, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.

Peer reviewed: Professor Göran Kecklund, the director of Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Sweden.

Acknowledgements: Special thanks, Reading and comments,
– Professor Emeritus Bengt Furåker, Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
– Acting Professor in Technical Psychology Lars-Åke Lindberg, Department of Work Science, Luleå Technical University, Acting Professor, Department of Social Work, Umeå University Sweden.


The purpose of this study was to determine if it’s sufficient to reduce working hours (RWH) in order to improve health and working conditions for assistant nurses (AN), and to explore if additional interventions were required. This 23-month longitudinal, interventional, parallel group study investigated the impact of RWH among AN at elderly care facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden. Study participants worked 6-hour per day with full pay. New personnel were hired to compensate for the RWH. The finding of this study showed the consistent improved health directly relating to RWH. However, the main finding was unexpectedly something different – a finding that was quite unmentioned in previous studies. As an isolated intervention, RWH was insufficient on its own to reduce the ill effects on health from lifestyle and working conditions. RWH creating the space needed to implement additional interventions.

Key terms

Assistant nurses / elderly care facilities / health determinants / perceived health / public health / reduced working hours / sickness absence / working environment

Corresponding author: Bengt Lorentzon, Pacta Guideline Research, Gothenburg, Sweden.