Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2023;49(1):75-83    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.4065 | Published online: 20 Oct 2022, Issue date: 01 Jan 2023

The association of job fatigue with mental disorders among bus drivers

by Lin Y-J, Shih T-S, Wu W-T, Guo Y-LL

Objective Mental disorders are a global problem with growing importance. However, the contribution of work factors to the development of mental disorders is inconclusive. This study aimed to assess the impact of fatigue and job stress on mental disorders in a prospective cohort of bus drivers.

Methods The Taiwan Bus Driver Cohort Study (TBDCS) recruited 1652 bus drivers from a bus company in 2005. Participants self-completed a structured questionnaire in 2007, which included the Demand-Control-Support (DCS) model questions and the Swedish Occupational Fatigue Inventory-Chinese (SOFI-C). Psychiatric care visits and admissions were obtained from the National Health Insurance Research Dataset (NHIRD) from 2003 to 2016 for as a proxy for psychiatric diagnoses. Drivers with a history of psychiatric disorders before the questionnaire survey time were excluded (N=69). During the follow-up period, a new diagnosis with a psychiatric disorder was defined as an event. Cox proportional hazards model was used to estimate the hazard ratio (HR) for new one-set psychiatric disorders, adjusting for age, body mass index, marital status, education, alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, bus driving experience, shift work, and chronic diseases.

Results Among the 896 bus drivers retained for analysis, 85 were newly diagnosed with a psychiatric disorders. DCS score was not associated with the risk of developing a psychiatric disorders, but bus drivers with high SOFI-C scores (≥5) had an elevated risk for anxiety or mood disorders (HR 3.35, 95% confidence interval 1.23–9.09).

Conclusions Among bus drivers, occupational fatigue, as indicated by high a SOFI-C score, might result in an elevated risk of anxiety or mood disorders. Health service organizations should provide recommendations and guidance for drivers with high fatigue levels to avoid anxiety or mood disorders.

This article refers to the following texts of the Journal: 1996;22(2):124-132  2003;29(3):171-188
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