Primary health care needs for a priority population: a survey of professional truck drivers.
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BACKGROUND: There are no Canadian data regarding health and wellness of transport truck drivers. OBJECTIVES: We pilot-tested a survey instrument to examine the risk factors and health needs of Canadian truck drivers. METHODS: A self-administered survey was completed by truck drivers employed in 13 companies in-and-near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. The survey was developed using published tools with input from focus groups and included demographics, health issues, health service utilization, and awareness of workplace health programs. Descriptive statistics were used to estimate prevalence of health issues and risk factors. RESULTS: 822 surveys were distributed and 406 drivers (49.4%) responded; 48.5% were 50 years and older, 96.0% were male. Diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, and lung problems were reported by 7%, 4.1%, 0.6%, 10.8% and 2.8% respectively. 96% had salt intake above the recommended daily intake, 31.5% smoked daily and the prevalence of being overweight and with poor diet was 53.2% and 48.4%. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of current disease was low; however, prevalence of risk factors for chronic disease was substantial. The survey was feasible to administer and provided benchmark data regarding truck drivers' perceived health. A national survey of Canadian drivers is suggested to improve generalizability and facilitate analysis for associations to poorer driver health.
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