Factors associated with depressive symptoms in long-haul truck drivers: a cross-sectional study
Master of Health Sciences
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Many North Americans are affected by mental health disorders (MHD) each year [1,2]. One of the most common MHDs is major depression [1,2]. Major depression has many costs for the individual and the economy [3–5]. Those with depression are more likely to experience difficulties sleeping, chronic fatigue, poor physical health, and are at risk of committing suicide when compared to non-depressed individuals [1,6,7]. The overall risk of mortality is higher among those with depression than those without . On the economic level, depression is associated with an increased number of missed days at work (absenteeism) and poor productivity at work (presenteeism) . Depression is estimated to cost the U.S. economy $36.6 billion per year in lost worker productivity . Certain occupations put individuals at greater risk for depression than others. One of these occupations includes long-haul truck drivers. The risk of depression in trucking is higher when compared to at least 19 other occupational types [1,2,8–11]. Long-haul truck driving involves delivering freight to distant locations [12,13]. Truckers are usually on the road for several days at a time . Many also drive overnight and are often alone during their shifts and their work breaks [14,15]. They also experience tight delivery timeliness and are often paid based on how far they drive, or how much freight they can deliver [13,16]. The working conditions of long-haul truckers can result in feels of social isolation and can lead to poor sleep and fatigue [14,15,17]. Many truckers have also reported that they experience stress due to tight and unrealistic delivery deadlines, poor road conditions, and violence at work .