Level of fatigue and day time sleepiness among heavy vehicle drivers attending National Transport Medical Institute Kandy
Objective:To describe the level of fatigue, day time sleepiness and their associated factors, among heavy vehicle drivers attending National Transport Medical Institute – Kandy.
Methods: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in 403 heavy vehicle drivers through an interviewer administered structured questionnaire consisting of the ‘Fatigue Severity Scale’ (FFS) and the ‘Epworth Sleepiness Scale’ (ESS). Data was analyzed with SPSS 17 statistical software.
Results: The mean age of the study sample was 36.5 years (S.D. = 8.6) and all were males. They drive an average of 129.03 km/day (SD=87.24). The mean FFS score in the study participants was 2.43 (SD=0.99) and the mean ESS score was 6.57 (SD=4.07). Prevalence of fatigue (FSS score > 4) was 8.7% (n=35) and the prevalence of excessive day time sleepiness (EDS) was (ESS score > 10) was 14.4% (n=58) in the present study. Drivers who worked more than 11 hours/ day had a higher prevalence of fatigue (p=0.02) and drivers who sleep less than 6 hours had higher prevalence of EDS (p=0.04).
Conclusion: A high prevalence of fatigue and EDS among heavy vehicle drivers was found. Further studies focusing on sleep disorders in heavy vehicle drivers should be conducted and occupational health service providers should be aware of the possibility of fatigue and daytime sleepiness in heavy vehicle drivers and its overall risk on the roads for necessary action.