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Medicina (Kaunas). 2011;47(12):675-81.

Factors influencing psychoemotional strain and fatigue, and relationship of these factors with health complaints at sea among Lithuanian seafarers.

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Klaipėda University, Lithuania.


The aim of the study was to identify the factors influencing psychoemotional strain and, fatigue among Lithuanian seafarers and relationship of these factors to health complaints at sea.


Two questionnaire surveys were carried out during mandatory health examination at the Maritime Medicine Center of Klaipėda Seamen's Hospital in 2003 and 2007. From November to December 2003, 998 seafarers aged 20-64 years were interviewed (first study). The second study carried out during November-December 2007 involved 932 20-64-year-old seafarers. The questionnaire comprised questions on sociodemographic data, factors of maritime industry, experienced psychoemotional strain and fatigue, and subjective evaluation of health.


The first study showed that older seafarers aged from 35 to 54 years were more likely to experience psychoemotional strain (P<0.001). Long working hours (9-10 hours and 11-12 hours) in harmful conditions and increased eyestrain were associated with psychoemotional strain among seafarers in the first study as well (P<0.001). Higher education level and detrimental factors to health (vibration and noise) were significant risk factors for the occurrence of psychoemotional strain among seafarers in the second study (P<0.05). The relationship between many risk factors related to seafarers' work, demographic data, and subjectively evaluated psychoemotional strain and fatigue appear to be accumulative in character. Health complains at sea (insomnia, depression, waist and spinal pain) were related to psychoemotional strain, but sleep disorders were associated with fatigue.


Seafarers employed on a certain ship, under particular conditions, and being exposed to risk factors or their combination may experience health disorders related to increased fatigue and psychoemotional strain.

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