open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
Original article
Submitted: 2020-06-30
Accepted: 2020-09-14
Published online: 2020-09-28
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Wellbeing of a selection of seafarers in Eastern Adriatic Sea during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020

Giuliano Pesel1, Maria Luisa Canals2, Matteo Sandrin3, Olaf Jensen4
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2020.0033
·
Pubmed: 33001430
·
International Maritime Health 2020;71(3):184-190.
Affiliations
  1. Policlinico Triestino SPA, Via Bonaparte, 4-6, 34132 Trieste, Italy
  2. 2. Sociedad Española de Medicina Marítima (SEMM) / University of Cadiz FUECA, Spain, General Mola, 33, Bajos Derecha, 39004 Santander, Spain
  3. 3. Adriatic Nautical Academy of Trieste, Via Karl Ludwig Von Bruck, 32, 34144 Trieste, Italy
  4. 4. Centre of Maritime Health and Society, Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense, Denmark

open access

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
MARITIME/OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE Original article
Submitted: 2020-06-30
Accepted: 2020-09-14
Published online: 2020-09-28

Abstract

Background: Work-related stress among seafarers is well known but a suspected excess of work-related stress due to the COVID-19 so far has not been published. The aim of the study was to evaluate the well- -being of the seafarers during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and their evaluation of the precautions
taken by the shipping companies.
Materials and methods: Seventy-two seafarers completed the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) with three extra questions on how the COVID-19 precautions were taken on board.
Results: The mean Likert score was 13.9 for the whole sample, corresponding to “no problems” while a subgroup of 40% had mean Likert sum scores of 16.1 (level 15–23) corresponding to “starting problems.” In response to the extra items, 50% of the seafarers did not feel safe doing their job in relation to the epidemic and 60% did not think everything has been done to ensure their health at work in relation to the epidemic. Thirty per cent suffered of insomnia to the extent of becoming concerned and 26% had been unhappy and depressed during the latest tours of duty.
Conclusions: The hypothesis that excess work-related stress has been put on the seafarers in this specific situation was confirmed and calls for prevention. A combination of person-focused and organisation-focused prevention approaches has been advocated as the most promising for alleviation of job stress in the workplaces at sea.

Abstract

Background: Work-related stress among seafarers is well known but a suspected excess of work-related stress due to the COVID-19 so far has not been published. The aim of the study was to evaluate the well- -being of the seafarers during the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and their evaluation of the precautions
taken by the shipping companies.
Materials and methods: Seventy-two seafarers completed the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ12) with three extra questions on how the COVID-19 precautions were taken on board.
Results: The mean Likert score was 13.9 for the whole sample, corresponding to “no problems” while a subgroup of 40% had mean Likert sum scores of 16.1 (level 15–23) corresponding to “starting problems.” In response to the extra items, 50% of the seafarers did not feel safe doing their job in relation to the epidemic and 60% did not think everything has been done to ensure their health at work in relation to the epidemic. Thirty per cent suffered of insomnia to the extent of becoming concerned and 26% had been unhappy and depressed during the latest tours of duty.
Conclusions: The hypothesis that excess work-related stress has been put on the seafarers in this specific situation was confirmed and calls for prevention. A combination of person-focused and organisation-focused prevention approaches has been advocated as the most promising for alleviation of job stress in the workplaces at sea.

Get Citation

Keywords

seafarers, wellbeing, pandemic, work related stress

About this article
Title

Wellbeing of a selection of seafarers in Eastern Adriatic Sea during the COVID-19 pandemic 2020

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 71, No 3 (2020)

Article type

Original article

Pages

184-190

Published online

2020-09-28

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2020.0033

Pubmed

33001430

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2020;71(3):184-190.

Keywords

seafarers
wellbeing
pandemic
work related stress

Authors

Giuliano Pesel
Maria Luisa Canals
Matteo Sandrin
Olaf Jensen

References (13)
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  9. Lundin A, Hallgren M, Theobald H, et al. Validity of the 12-item version of the General Health Questionnaire in detecting depression in the general population. Public Health. 2016; 136: 66–74.
  10. Winefield A, Gillespie N, Stough C, et al. Occupational stress in Australian university staff: Results from a national survey. Int J Stress Manag. 2003; 10(1): 51–63.
  11. Mellbye A, Carter T. Seafarer's depression and suicide. Int Marit Health. 2017; 68(2): 108–114.
  12. Ali N, Nater UM. Salivary alpha-amylase as a biomarker of stress in behavioral medicine. Int J Behav Med. 2020; 27(3): 337–342.
  13. Jensen O, Charalambous G, Flores A, et al. Strategies for prevention of non-communicable diseases in seafarers and fishermen: lessons learned. Int J Community Family Med. 2018; 3(2).

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