Protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis of research on the associations between workplace bullying and sleep
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Existing evidence on the association between exposure to bullying and sleep is limited and inconclusive. The aims of this planned systematic review and meta-analysis are therefore (1) to determine whether exposure to workplace bullying is related to changes in sleep function and (2) to establish mediating and moderating factors that govern the relationship between bullying and sleep. Methods: A systematic review and meta-analysis will be conducted. Electronic databases will be searched using predefined search terms to identify relevant studies. Eligible studies should report empirical findings on the association between exposure to workplace bullying and at least one indicator of sleep. Primary observational studies with cross-sectional or prospective research design, case-control studies, and studies with experimental designs will be included. Qualitative interviews and case studies will be excluded. The methodological quality of the included studies will be assessed with a previously established checklist for studies on workplace bullying. The quality of evidence for an association between bullying and sleep problems will evaluated in accordance with the GRADE system. A random effects meta-analysis will be conducted with the Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software, version 3. Discussion: This review and meta-analysis will be among the first to systematically explore and integrate the evidence available on the association between exposure to bullying and sleep, as well as on the mediating and moderating factors that can govern this associations. By gathering and summarizing information about potential factors that can explain when and how bullying is related to sleep, the findings from this study will provide directions for future research and provide practitioners and clinicians with an understanding about the nature and consequences of workplace bullying and point to directions for relevant interventions.