Risk Factors for Depressive Symptoms in Long-Haul Truck Drivers
Alexander M. Crizzle , Maeve McLean and Jennifer Malkin
Originally published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 26 May 2020
Work-related stress is a salient risk factor for depression. While long-haul truck drivers (LHTDs) face a myriad of occupational pressures and demands, little research has examined predictors of depressive symptoms in this occupational group. The purpose of this study was to identify predictors of depressive symptoms in LHTDs. A cross-sectional study was used to examine depressive symptoms, health and working conditions in a sample of 107 LHTDs (mean age of 50.7 ± 12.3; 95.6% were men) at truck stops from five Western Canadian cities. The findings show that 44% of LHTDs reported symptoms of depression in the past 12 months. Severe work-related stress, the use of psychiatric medications and broken sleep were significant predictors of depressive symptomology accounting for 41% of the variance. The findings suggest that LHTDs experience a host of occupational stressors that are embedded within the transportation industry that may increase the risk for depressive symptoms. Mental health promotion efforts that improve sleep quality, decrease work-related demands and pressures, and increase the use of psychiatric medication may reduce rates of depressive symptoms among LHTDs.
Read the full report below.