September 10, 2020

Who? Daniel Patterson, PhD, NRP from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Emergency Medicine is leading a research study that seeks to examine the impact of a sleep health and fatigue education and training program tailored to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) clinicians. This research study has financial support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to the National Association of State EMS Officials (NASEMSO). The University of Pittsburgh has partnered with the NASEMSO as a sub-contractor for purposes of conducting this research study.

 

What? This research study is an experiment that will test the impact of a new sleep health and fatigue training education program. The program is designed to improve the individual EMS clinician’s sleep health and reduce work-related fatigue through education and training. The program will be administered entirely online (via the

internet) and will be accessible to EMS clinicians located at the EMS agencies that agree to participate in this research study.

When? The study team will begin recruiting EMS agencies to participate in this study in late January 2020. Each agency will be asked to participate for a total of 24 weeks. Participation is voluntary.

 

How? Researchers will ask EMS agency administrators to help recruit individual EMS clinicians at their agency to participate in this research study. Participation will be completely voluntary and confidential. The study team will mostly use data collection tools available via the Internet. Some data collection will involve mobile phone text messages. The research study’s website will be secure and require a unique login (username and password) from each individual EMS clinician. Some EMS clinicians may be asked to wear a wrist actigraph to measure sleep and complete a reaction time test at the start and end of a few scheduled work shifts during the study period.

 

Who is Eligible? The study team is seeking participation from EMS agencies located in the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii). Criteria for eligibility include: [1] The EMS agency provides EMS services (including 911 response and transport). [2] The EMS agency provides ground-based EMS services 24-hours a day. Agencies limited to air-medical services only are not eligible. [3] The EMS agency employs between 50 and 300 EMS paid full-time and part-time clinicians/personnel. Agencies that use an all-volunteer staffing model are not eligible. [4] Agencies restrict their EMS clinicians to use their personal mobile phones/smartphones during shifts are not eligible. [5] Operations that provide both fire suppression and EMS 911 response and transport are eligible and encouraged to participate.

 

Remuneration: Those who qualify for the study and choose to participate will receive remuneration worth approximately $35 U.S. dollars. All individual participants will receive remuneration in the form of a gift card totaling approximately $35 in value. A $5 gift card will be distributed at the beginning, when the individual enrolls, every month the individual is involved in the study, and at the end of the study (month 6). All gift cards will be distributed via U.S. Mail directly to individual participants.

Interested? If you are the administrator/manager of an EMS agency that is eligible to participate, and wish to participate or wish to know more about this study, please contact the study principal investigator (Daniel Patterson, PhD, NRP) at: pdp3@pitt.edu or 412-864-3830.