Scand J Work Environ Health 2022;48(8):598-610    pdf full text | Published online: 25 Sep 2022, Issue date: 01 Nov 2022

Suicide among transport industry workers: A systematic review and meta-analysis

by Mathieu S, Ross V, Wardhani R, Brough P, Wishart D, Chan XW, Kõlves K

Objectives Working in high-stress and male-dominated occupations is associated with an elevated risk of suicide. The current study sought to conduct the first systematic literature review and meta-analysis aimed at determining suicide risk across the diverse, high pressure and male-dominated transport industry (commercial aviation, merchant seafaring, transit/driving) as compared to the general/employed population.

Methods Searches of PubMed/Medline, Scopus and PsycINFO databases were conducted without date restriction until March 2021. Studies were included if they were written in English, were peer reviewed, and presented primary observational research data. Studies referring exclusively to suicidal ideation, suicide attempts, self-harm, and/or accidents were excluded.

Results Following deletion of duplicates and non-English titles, a total of 4201 titles/abstracts were screened and 92 full-texts were read against inclusion/exclusion criteria. The final included sample consisted of 23 articles (16 used for meta-analysis). Results from the meta-analysis indicated that transport workers had a significantly elevated risk for suicide as compared to the general/employed population. Results were consistent across sensitivity analyses, and there was some variation across subgroup analyses.

Conclusions Overall, we found transport workers had a significantly higher risk for suicide than the general/employed population, and this appeared to be driven by the association for those working in merchant seafaring/maritime occupations. The findings are discussed in relation to an identified need for the development, implementation, and evaluation of tailored workplace suicide prevention strategies for transport industry workers.

This article refers to the following text of the Journal: 2018;44(1):3-15
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