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Prevalence of fatigue in a group of airline pilots

Prevalence of fatigue in a group of airline pilots

Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine 84(8): 828-833

Fatigue is a common phenomenon in airline pilots that can impair alertness and ability of crewmembers to safely operate an aircraft and perform safety related tasks. Fatigue can increase the risk of an incident or even an accident. This study provides the first prevalence values for clinically significant fatigue in Portuguese airline pilots. The hypothesis that medium/short-haul pilots may currently present different levels of fatigue than long-haul pilots was also tested. A survey was conducted by requesting Portuguese airline pilots to complete questionnaires placed in the pilots' personal lockers from 1 April until 15 May 2012. The questionnaire included the self-response Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) to measure subjective fatigue and some additional questions concerning perception of fatigue by pilots. The prevalence values for total and mental fatigue achieved in the Portuguese airline pilots were: 89.3% (FSS > or = 4) and 94.1% (FSS > or = 4) when splitting the sample in two subsamples, long- and medium/short-haul pilots. Levels of total and mental fatigue were higher for medium/short-haul pilots. The analysis of fatigue levels in each type of aviator showed that medium/short-haul pilots presented the highest levels of total and mental fatigue. This study produced the first prevalence values of total and mental fatigue among Portuguese airline pilots, which represents a great step to understanding and addressing this critical phenomenon.

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Accession: 055157783

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 23926658

DOI: 10.3357/asem.3548.2013

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