Vol 68, No 3 (2017)
Original article
Published online: 2017-09-27

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The health behaviour and wellbeing of older seafarers on Merseyside — indicated changes through brief interventions

Malcolm John Fisk1
Pubmed: 28952657
IMH 2017;68(3):133-139.

Abstract

Background: There is significant evidence of the poor health of seafarers that arises both from the rigours of their trade and, for many, the associated lifestyles. Such poor health can continue in later life. The objective of the research is to report on a specific project that provided brief interventions to assist older (ex-) seafarers and to establish the effect of those interventions on their knowledge, behaviours, health and wellbeing.

Materials and methods: Older seafarers were recruited to the project. Brief interventions were provided by which the knowledge of a number of older seafarers with health needs was raised about the options available to them; and the implications for their lifestyles and behaviours were addressed. Initial and final interviews were undertaken to determine any changes in self-reported health and wellbeing using both EQ5D and the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS) measures. Post project interviews took place with a sample of the older seafarers.

Results: A good level of understanding was found among the older seafarers regarding their own health. This meant that a precondition was in place, for many, by which changes in behaviours and lifestyles could take place. An important outcome was the indicated benefits of the brief interventions for self-reported wellbeing, though not statistically significant at the 95% level of confidence.

Conclusions: Endeavours within the project to reach some of those who could benefit from the brief interventions were successful. Just over half changed their behaviours or were thinking of so doing. Wellbeing gains arising were indicated.

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