Medical University of Gdansk
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Start > 2008 > Dominique Jegaden, Brice Lodde, David Lucas, Jean Ariel Bronstein, Michel Feraud, Yves Eusen, Jean Dominique Dewitte: Stress in seamen and non seamen employed by the same company

Dominique Jegaden, Brice Lodde, David Lucas, Jean Ariel Bronstein, Michel Feraud, Yves Eusen, Jean Dominique Dewitte: Stress in seamen and non seamen employed by the same company

Objectives:

The aim of this survey was to compare the level of professional stress among seamen – crew members – who work on French oceanographic vessels to the one of technicians and engineers from the oceanographic institute, who board the ships to operate special equipment during sea voyages.

Method:

Two questionnaires were used for collecting data:
  • Langner’s total health test (22 items) that investigates the level of psychical stress,
  • Karasek’s “Job Content Questionnaire” (38 items) used for investigation of strain at work, psychological pressure, decision latitude and social support. Data were processed by a statistical software : Sphinx®, using Chi² test.

Results:

two groups of subjects were included: 74 seamen and 74 non seamen, males of comparable ages were questioned. Results showed that there was no significant difference in strain at work and social support between them (41 seamen and 50 non seaman professionals who filled in the questionnaires). There was a very significant difference in the decision latitude: much lower level for seamen as compared to non seamen. 17% compared to zero percent of non seamen were ranked in the heavy strain/low decision latitude category regarded by Karasek as a high risk of stress (compared to 0% of non seaman professionals). 33% of seamen in this group reached a score that indicated psychical stress according to Langner’s total health test.

Conclusion:

The results of the survey show that the occupation of seamen includes specific elements regarded by Karasek as leading to a risk of stress.

Key-words

Seafarer, stress, questionnaire, job strain, boat


Corresponding author Dr Brice Loddé
e-mail address : Brice.lodde@chu-brest.fr
Phone : +0033298223509
Fax number : +003329822395

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International Maritime Health
Medical University of Gdansk, Interdepartmental Institute of Maritime and Tropical Medicine
81-519 Gdynia, ul. Powstania Styczniowego 9 B, fax. +48 58 622 3354