Vol 71, No 3 (2020)
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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
Pubmed: 33001430
IMH 2020;71(3):184-190.


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.

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