Objectives Seafaring entails working on board ships for a long period of time away from home. This results into various psychological experiences by the world’s 1.2 million seafarers working on international commercial vessels. Filipino seafarers comprise almost 30% of the world’s seafarers. The study will look at the stress management profile of Filipino seafarers including how stress is manifested and implications for prevention.
Method Questionnaires were administered to 2500 Filipino seafarer respondents representing various ranks/positions. Respondents were chosen from different manning agencies and training centres in different parts of the Philippines. Different sets of questionnaires were administered to different sectors such as management and labour. The questionnaire was divided into the following categories: socio-demographic profile, health and lifestyle, attitude towards work and family/home, work and home-related experiences, symptoms/signs of stress, coping with work experiences, and infrastructure on board.
Results Respondents were 69% ratings and 31% officers mostly within the age of 25–50 working in bulk carrier vessels and tankers. Health problems normally experienced are vision, hypertension, muscular, hearing and respiratory. 50% drink alcohol and 20% smoke on board. 55% sleep well and 87% exercise. Most workers are satisfied with their jobs. Significant sources of stress are routinary nature of job, long hours of work, tension among crew, and thoughts of impending early retirement. Home-work interface elements are major sources of stress such as family concerns and careers of wives.
Conclusions Socio-psychological problems need to be addressed by developing appropriate programmes. This should be mainstreamed in the occupational health agenda for seafarers.
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