Blood glucose is higher in people working night shifts compared to day workers. Changes to eating behaviour, activity and sleep patterns in addition to circadian disruption are likely to impact glucose management in night-shift workers with type 2 diabetes.
To investigate current dietary intake and glucose variability during night work, including barriers and facilitators to dietary behaviour in this context.
A mixed-methods case study will be conducted. Shift workers with type 2 diabetes working in a hospital setting will be recruited to this two-part study. Part 1: 70 participants will complete a 10-day observational study collecting data on continuous glucose, diet (self-report diary), sleep and physical activity during a period covering night work, rest days and non-night workdays. Mean glucose concentration and variability, and the mean healthy diet index score, will be compared between days of night work, non-night work and rest, after adjusting for other individual factors (sleep/physical activity/demographics). Part 2: A sample (n~13) will complete semi-structured interviews based on behavioural science frameworks to explore barriers/enablers to dietary behaviour when working night shifts. This will inform a quantitative survey to explore the generalisability of interview findings.
Findings from Part 1 and 2 will be triangulated to identify potential intervention strategies to address key barriers and enablers to healthier eating, and in turn improved glucose control, in shift workers with type 2 diabetes. This will be facilitated through stakeholder consultation and application of behavioural science frameworks. Shift-Diabetes study registration: ISRCTN11764942.