211586 Health To Go: An innovative trucker health outreach project

Monday, November 9, 2009: 1:30 PM

Timothy J. Anderson, BA , Disease Prevention & Response; HIV/AIDS Program, Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane, WA
While keeping the U.S. and North American economies flowing, truckers sustain more non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses than any other occupation. Trucking lifestyle factors reveal increased risk(s) of pre morbid and morbid conditions including elevated blood pressure, obesity, musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, tobacco addiction, substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections including HIV, eating disorders, ulcers, diabetes, and sleep disorders. Peer reviewed studies have documented that truckers face a reduced life expectancy of 18 years.

The public safety challenge posed by drivers who may have any of these undiagnosed, potentially fatal conditions affects everyone with whom they share the road. DOT required trucker fitness levels, coupled with chronic trucker health issues, create economic distress for the national supply network. As a result, the strained trucker labor market finds far fewer qualified candidates. These factors when linked to communicable disease screening and surveillance are of public health interest. Truckers often travel coast to coast in as little as three days. With each stop, their ability to unwittingly spread or be exposed to highly communicable health conditions is a glaring gap in current public health strategies. This pilot assessment measured commercial drivers' receptiveness to general health screenings, including rapid oral HIV testing; as well surveyed their unique accessibility issues, media messaging preferences, and gauged their rate of participation. This assessment is part of a testing, prevention, and outreach project conducted by Spokane Regional Health District called Health To Go which will be a mobile health clinic dedicated to the public health needs of truckers.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of this presentation, participants will be able to: 1.Identify the public safety issues posed by trucker drivers with pre-morbid and morbid chronic and communicable diseases, including HIV; 2. Identify the unique challenges faced with providing health screenings, health care, and health promotion and education to this highly mobile workforce; 3.Describe innovative on-the-road strategies for addressing and preventing chronic and communicable diseases for long-haul truckers; 4. Identify some potential areas for further research and program development for promoting trucker health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as the project director for the Health To Go Project and conducted all interviews for the study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.