Assessing Internet Survey Data Collection Methods with Ethnic Nurse Shift Workers.

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An increasing number of ethnic minorities are expected to enter the United States workforce based on projected demographic changes. This includes American Indian/Alaskan Native (AI/AN) nurses. Sociocultural influences on sleep disturbances, sleepiness, and other aspects related to shift-work tolerance are of unrecognized importance. More minority nurses are needed to provide culturally congruent care; however, AI/AN nurses represent less than 1% of nurses located throughout the American workforce. This article aims to verify the feasibility of Internet data collection (Web-based survey) methods and instrument stability as the first part of a two-phase study comparing individual differences and shift-work-related sleep disturbances between AI/AN and White non-Hispanic (WNH) nurses. In the first phase, an Internet survey was used to reach a cross-section of AI/AN and WNH nurses. The on-line survey was composed of accepted shift-work-related instruments. Items estimating sleep disturbances, sociocultural choices, time awareness, polychronicity, morningness/ eveningness, ethnic identity, and demographic questions were asked. The survey was linked to a series of Web pages describing the study purpose, inclusion and exclusion criteria, consent form, Web survey, and the second phase of the study in which subjects were invited to participate in actigraphy measurements. The survey was pilot-tested for error codes, item confusion, length, and completion time. Forced-answer questions were added asking ethnicity, age group, license type, state where licensed, and legal name on nursing license before accessing the survey. Data were saved periodically, cued by the word "continue." The database was located on a secure server and password protected. Nurses were recruited using published articles and printed advertisements, hospital e-mail systems, national nursing organization Web sites (minoritynurse.com; NANAINA.org), nursing Web site discussion groups, snow-balling, and word of mouth. The site was accessed 656 times with the Internet survey being completed by 138 WNH and 56 AI/AN nurses meeting the inclusion criteria. Except for the polychronicity measure (PAI3), instruments measuring time awareness, chronotype, and situational sleepiness achieved acceptable reliability coefficients with Internet data collection. Using pull-down menus would improve questions asking specific times. Internet data collection with different ethnic groups is possible; however, accessing the target population may be difficult. Despite extensive recruitment efforts, few AI/AN nurses participated. Computer literacy and failing to relate to the study's purpose may have limited the interest of the AI/AN nurses. It is possible to recruit nurse shift workers and collect individual difference and sleep disturbance data through the Internet; however, the researcher must remain vigilant throughout the process.

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Chronobiology International





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