open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review article
Published online: 2015-12-22
Submitted: 2015-12-22
Accepted: 2015-12-22
Get Citation

Factors affecting maritime pilots’ health and well-being: a systematic review

Luana C. Main, Timothy P. Chambers
DOI: 10.5603/IMH.2015.0043
·
Pubmed: 26726893
·
International Maritime Health 2015;66(4):220-232.

open access

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)
MARITIME MEDICINE Review article
Published online: 2015-12-22
Submitted: 2015-12-22
Accepted: 2015-12-22

Abstract

Background: Maritime pilotage is a demanding occupation where pilots are required to perform complex procedures in sometimes unfamiliar working environments. These psychological stressors, in addition to the physical demands associated with the role (e.g., reduced sleep, boarding, and departing vessels), may over time have a damaging effect on pilots’ physical and mental health. Therefore the aim of this paper was to systematically review the existing literature on maritime pilots’ health and well-being.

Materials and methods: The databases academic search complete, MEDLINE and MEDLINE complete, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PubMed, and ScienceDirect were searched from the earliest available record until 1 May 2015. From an initial pool of 167 manuscripts retrieved, only 18 were peer-reviewed original research and discussed topics associated with maritime pilots’ health and well-being.

Results: In total, 29 factors associated with maritime pilot health and well-being were identified. These were loosely categorised into physical (n = 14), psychosocial (n = 8), and workplace issues (n = 7). The most commonly investigated factors were blood pressure or heart rate, sleep or fatigue, smoking and alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and shift duration or cycle.

Conclusions: Findings from the review suggest that the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and associated cardio-metabolic risk factors seems to be of paramount importance, with ample evidence indicating that modern-day pilots present as being overweight or obese. What remains unknown is whether these physical factors are associated with variations in psychosocial functioning. Therefore, it is recommended that future pilotage investigations adopt a multidisciplinary approach to better quantify the impact of maritime pilotage on long-term health and well-being.  

Abstract

Background: Maritime pilotage is a demanding occupation where pilots are required to perform complex procedures in sometimes unfamiliar working environments. These psychological stressors, in addition to the physical demands associated with the role (e.g., reduced sleep, boarding, and departing vessels), may over time have a damaging effect on pilots’ physical and mental health. Therefore the aim of this paper was to systematically review the existing literature on maritime pilots’ health and well-being.

Materials and methods: The databases academic search complete, MEDLINE and MEDLINE complete, PsycINFO, PsycARTICLES, PubMed, and ScienceDirect were searched from the earliest available record until 1 May 2015. From an initial pool of 167 manuscripts retrieved, only 18 were peer-reviewed original research and discussed topics associated with maritime pilots’ health and well-being.

Results: In total, 29 factors associated with maritime pilot health and well-being were identified. These were loosely categorised into physical (n = 14), psychosocial (n = 8), and workplace issues (n = 7). The most commonly investigated factors were blood pressure or heart rate, sleep or fatigue, smoking and alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and shift duration or cycle.

Conclusions: Findings from the review suggest that the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and associated cardio-metabolic risk factors seems to be of paramount importance, with ample evidence indicating that modern-day pilots present as being overweight or obese. What remains unknown is whether these physical factors are associated with variations in psychosocial functioning. Therefore, it is recommended that future pilotage investigations adopt a multidisciplinary approach to better quantify the impact of maritime pilotage on long-term health and well-being.  

Get Citation

Keywords

health, well-being, maritime, pilot, stress, fatigue, review

About this article
Title

Factors affecting maritime pilots’ health and well-being: a systematic review

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 66, No 4 (2015)

Pages

220-232

Published online

2015-12-22

DOI

10.5603/IMH.2015.0043

Pubmed

26726893

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2015;66(4):220-232.

Keywords

health
well-being
maritime
pilot
stress
fatigue
review

Authors

Luana C. Main
Timothy P. Chambers

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