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International maritime health [journal]
- Acute gastroenteritis, video camera and cruise ship. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):98.
- Mental readiness for maritime international operation: procedures developed by Norwegian navy. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):93-7.
Seafarer's mental health is vital for a well-functioning organisation. Neglecting mental health status on board could be extremely costly for both the crew affected as well as the company. The present article outlines an extensive programme implemented in the Royal Norwegian Navy for personnel deployed in international operations. The challenges involved in international operations bare similarities to onboard personnel in civilian maritime operations. The program utilised by the Royal Norwegian Navy is extensive and not immediately applicable to civilian maritime companies. However, elements of this program could be used with limited resources. Questionnaire based screening, before, during and at the end of a contract period could result in early detections of mental health problems and increased retaining of personnel. This should be done by health professionals. Early targeting of at risk personnel could prevent serious costs for the individual as well as the company.
- Purpose in life and work-related stress in mariners. Mediating role of quality of marriage bonds and perceived anxiety. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):87-92.
The specific character of mariners' work is connected with many factors conducive to stress, overload, fatigue and emotional tension, all of which can negatively influence subjective quality of life, including particularly the sense of life's purpose and meaning. However, over the course of entire life one plays many various roles and takes part in many areas of life which influence one another, both positively and negatively. Undoubtedly one of such areas, essential from the point of fulfilling individual's important needs, is one's family and marriage that can function as a crucial factor for neutralising on-the-job problems and tensions.The research presented here attempts to verify the relation between stress perceived by mariners and their sense of purpose in life along with the mediating role of marriage quality and anxiety levels.A total of 210 mariners working on deep-sea ships were examined. The following research tools were applied in the study: the Purpose in Life Test (PIL), the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Perceived Stress Questionnaire (PSQ) and the Questionnaire of Suitable Marriage (KDM).The results arrived at indicate that both marriage satisfaction and anxiety levels can indeed mediate the relation between stress and sense of purpose in life among mariners.
- What does it take to get a healthy diet at sea? A maritime study of the challenges of promoting a healthy lifestyle at the workplace at sea. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):79-86.
Prevalence of obesity is high among Danish seafarers and appropriate health promotion interventions are required within the maritime setting. The aim of this study was to examine whether a training intervention for ship cooks could improve seafarers' diet on board and, in particular, to identify possible challenges in practice on board of vessels from 2 Danish shipping companies.Interviews and participant observations were conducted during a 2-day cooking course. Interviews were repeated 1 year after (N:35) the course in order to assess self-perceived changes in preparing meals and ordering supplies, as well as perceived challenges in implementing changes and maintaining them. In addition, changes in self-reported eating behaviour before the cooking course and 1 year after were assessed based on a 1-year follow-up quantitative questionnaire survey (N:193).Participants reported positive opinions about the course and subsequent changes in promoting a nutritious and healthy diet at sea by way of health education. Also a significant change was found in these afarers' self-reported eating behaviour from T1 to T2. However several challenges were identified during the transfer and maintenance phase such as many cooks having received little or no prior training which limited their cooking abilities. Confined physical capacities on board, restricted space for storage and lack of proper equipment were other barriers and so were low frequency of supply options and high prices for fresh fruit and vegetables.To fully realise the benefits of the changes, these challenges related to the specific maritime workplace setting need to be acknowledged and addressed at management level.
- Assessment of intelligence quotient among schoolchildren of fishermen community of Kutch, Gujarat, India. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):73-8.
The aim of the study was to assess the intelligence quotient of fishermen school children of Kutch, Gujarat, India.A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 8 to 10 years old school children living in Kutch District, Gujarat, India, from January to February 2013. Seguin Form Board Test was used to assess the intelligence quotient (IQ) level of children. Means of groups were compared by independent student t-test. Stepwise multiple linear regression was used to identify predictors for IQ.The mean average timing taken by fishermen school children to complete the test was 30.64 ± 4.97. Males had significantly lower mean timing scores than females (p < 0.05). Participants with severe dental fluorosis, low socio-economic status (SES), lower education level of both mother and father and those who were overweight had significantly higher mean timing scores for average category.The present study suggested a low IQ among fishermen school children community of Kutch, Gujarat, India. The major factors which influenced their IQ were dental fluorosis, low SES, low education level of parents and high body mass index.
- Prevalence of intestinal parasites in Afghan community on the example of patients treated in Ghazni Provincial Hospital. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):68-72.
This study concerns parasitological investigations estimating the prevalence of intestinal parasites in the Afghan community based on the example of patients, both children and adults, treated inthe Ghazni Provincial Hospital, in the eastern part of the country.In total, 201 admitted patients with internal health problems were examined in the Afghan hospital in March 2012, including 164 children (1-17 years old) and 37 adults aged 18-80. Stool samples were tested in the Department of Epidemiology and Tropical Medicine at the Military Institute of Medicinein Gdynia, Poland using 3 parasitological methods: direct smear, decantation, flotation (light microscopy).Intestinal parasitic infections caused mainly by Ascaris lumbricoides, Giardia intestinalis and Hymenolepis nana were confirmed in 81/164 (49.4%) children examined. Among adults, 9/37 (24.3%) patients were infected with intestinal parasites including Ascaris lumbricoides and Giardia intestinalis.The Afghan community, living in poor sanitary conditions with limited access to health services, is one of the most infected populations in the world. The parasitological investigation focused on intestinal parasites performed by the Polish health service among the eastern Afghan inhabitants is still one of the few screening studies in this country.
- The "torpedo" effect in medicine. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):65-7.
The natural electrical phenomena fascinated humans since antiquity. The electrical discharges produced by the torpedo fish were highly appreciated among ancient physicians as Hippocrates, Scribonius Largus and Galen and were prescribed for headache, gout and prolapsed anus. In the medieval period, torpedo's electrical properties were attributed to occult powers, while Renaissance physicians' and scientists' studied the anatomy and mechanical nature of the provoked shock paving the way for the discovery of the electrical nature of torpedo's activity and the evolution of electrotherapy.
- Briefing notes on maritime teledermatology. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):61-4.
All coastal states must provide telemedical assistance services (TMAS) 24 h a day free of charge to all ships. Skin lesions account for many urgent TMAS consultations, but may be difficult to describe for seafarers without much medical training - and even for medical personnel on cruise ships. By following simple instructions provided in this article, good photographs - taken by digital cameras or smart phones and transmitted by e-mail to TMAS - can compensate for imprecise descriptions. The on-line TMAS physiciancan then easily consult with a dermatologist if necessary. Highly specialised teledermatology services are commercially available for cruise companies. Their ship's doctors thereby get prompt access to expert medical opinion without the time, logistical issues and costs associated with seeking dermatologic care ashore. Teledermatology allows cruise medical staff to effectively manage skin conditions aboard and limits unnecessary dermatology clinic referrals. For the ships' medical staff the teledermatology service is also an opportunity for continuous education which may benefit skin patients aboard in the future.
- Vibration on board and health effects. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):58-60.
There is only limited knowledge of the exposure to vibrations of ships' crews and their risk of vibration-induced health effects. Exposure to hand-arm vibrations from the use of vibrating tools at sea does not differ from that in the land-based trades. However, in contrast to most other work places, seafarers are also exposed to vibrations to the feet when standing on vibrating surfaces on board. Anecdotal reports have related the development of "white feet" to local exposure to vibration, e.g. in mining, but this connection has not been investigated in the maritime setting. As known from studies of the health consequences of whole body vibrations in land-transportation, such exposure at sea may affect ships' passengers and crews. While the relation of back disorders to high levels of whole body vibration has been demonstrated among e.g. tractor drivers, there are no reported epidemiological evidence for such relation among seafarers except for fishermen, who, however, are also exposed to additional recognised physical risk factors at work. The assessment and reduction of vibrations by naval architects relates to technical implications of this impact for the ships' construction, but has limited value for the estimation of health risks because they express the vibration intensity differently that it is done in a medical context.
- Risk of cardiovascular diseases in seafarers. [Journal Article]
- Int Marit Health 2014; 65(2):53-7.
Seafarers experience a lot of job-related risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Considering the healthy-worker effect due to the biennial pre-employment examination and the periodical medical fitness tests, a (slightly) elevated risk for CVD among seafarers is assumed compared to the reference population ashore. In seafaring, the most important, influenceable risk factors for CVD refer to the ship-specific stress situation, the malnutrition and the lack of exercises on board. Furthermore, the prognosis of acute severe CVD often depends on the measures taken in the first few hours after occurrence of the symptoms. Owing to the lack of health professionals on board and the limited treatment options of events at sea, effective cardio-pulmonary resuscitation is often delayed and the outcome of cardiac events is worse compared to that ashore.