Mindfulness, sleep, and post-traumatic stress in long-haul truck drivers

Jenni M. Wise, Karen Heaton, Mona Shattell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The high stress culture and demands associated with long-haul truck driving place truckers at risk for mental health and sleep disorders, and thereby, increased risk for accidents, injuries, and fatality. Hours-of-service regulations have proven insufficient as a stand-alone intervention to protect the welfare of long-haul truckers, impacting those working in the industry and those sharing our nation's roads. Interventions to increase mindfulness have been used across occupational and personal domains to improve sleep quality, mental health, awareness of the environment, and reaction time. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between sleep, mental health, health care utilization, and mindfulness in long-haul truck drivers in the United States. METHODS: Participants (N = 140) were recruited to complete a web-based survey. Descriptive statistics, bivariate analysis, and regression analysis were used to examine variables of interest. RESULTS: Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptomology and daytime sleepiness predicted mental health care utilization in the past year. Mindfulness was inversely correlated with PTSD symptomology, however in the full regression model, mindfulness failed to predict mental health care utilization. CONCLUSIONS: Occupational health professionals should utilize mindfulness screenings as an adjunctive component to traditional mental health screenings and refer drivers for advanced care as appropriate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalWork
Volume67
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • long-haul truck drivers
  • Mental health
  • mindfulness
  • occupational health
  • post-traumatic stress
  • sleep
  • total worker health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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