Airplane pilot mental health and suicidal thoughts: a cross-sectional descriptive study via anonymous web-based survey
- Environmental health : a global access science source
- Published over 1 year ago
The Germanwings Flight 9525 crash has brought the sensitive subject of airline pilot mental health to the forefront in aviation. Globally, 350 million people suffer from depression-a common mental disorder. This study provides further information on this important topic regarding mental health especially among female airline pilots. This is the first study to describe airline pilot mental health-with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts-outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports, which are records protected by civil aviation authorities and airline companies.
In spite of their widespread use in policy making in the UK and elsewhere, there is a relatively sparse literature specifically devoted to policy pilots. Recent research on policy piloting has focused on the role of pilots in making policy work in accordance with national agendas. Taking this as a point of departure, the present paper develops the notion of pilots doing policy work. It does this by situating piloting within established theories of policy formulation and implementation, and illustrating using an empirical case. Our case is drawn from a qualitative policy ethnography of a local government pilot programme aiming to extend access to healthcare services. Our case explores the collective entrepreneurship of regional policy makers together with local pilot volunteers. We argue that pilots work to mobilise and manage the ambiguity and conflict associated with particular policy goals, and in their structure and design, shape action towards particular outcomes. We conclude with a discussion of the generative but managed role which piloting affords to local implementers.
Accounting for patients' perspective has become increasingly important. Based on the Consumer Quality Index method (founded on Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) a questionnaire was recently developed for Dutch cancer patients. As a next step, this study aimed to adapt and pilot this questionnaire for international comparison of cancer patients experience and satisfaction with care in six European countries.
This paper describes the methodological developments of the sexual health items included in the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study since their mandatory inclusion in the study in 2002. The current methodological, ethical and pedagogical challenges in measuring young people’s sexual health behaviours are discussed along with the issues associated with the sexual health items introduced to the HBSC study in 2002. The development and piloting of new cross-national items for use in the 2013/14 HBSC data collection are presented and discussed.
Given the important amount of visual and auditory linguistic information that pilots have to process, operating an aircraft generates a high working-memory load (WML). In this context, the ability to focus attention on relevant information and to remain responsive to concurrent stimuli might be altered. Consequently, understanding the effects of WML on the processing of both linguistic targets and distractors is of particular interest in the study of pilot performance. In the present work, participants performed a simplified piloting task in which they had to follow one of three colored aircraft, according to specific written instructions (i.e., the written word for the color corresponding to the color of one of the aircraft) and to ignore either congruent or incongruent concurrent auditory distractors (i.e., a spoken name of color). The WML was manipulated with an n-back sub-task. Participants were instructed to apply the current written instruction in the low WML condition, and the 2-back written instruction in the high WML condition. Electrophysiological results revealed a major effect of WML at behavioral (i.e., decline of piloting performance), electrophysiological, and autonomic levels (i.e., greater pupil diameter). Increased WML consumed resources that could not be allocated to the processing of the linguistic stimuli, as indexed by lower P300/P600 amplitudes. Also, significantly, lower P600 responses were measured in incongruent vs. congruent trials in the low WML condition, showing a higher difficulty reorienting attention toward the written instruction, but this effect was canceled in the high WML condition. This suppression of interference in the high load condition is in line with the engagement/distraction trade-off model. We propose that P300/P600 components could be reliable indicators of WML and that they allow an estimation of its impact on the processing of linguistic stimuli.
Central serous retinopathy (CSR) is a disease process that involves accumulation of serous fluid within the macular retina. This fluid accumulation can temporarily or permanently disrupt vision and in many patients is often a recurrent problem. This case describes recurrent CSR in an experienced U.S. Naval F/A-18 fighter pilot. The patient had been troubled by recurrent CSR for several years which required him to be removed from a flying status. After several episodes and treatment with laser photocoagulation and finasteride, the patient’s vision and disease process stabilized, but with permanent defective visual acuity in the right eye. There have been many case reports documenting CSR in active duty military aviators worldwide, including flying pilots who have residual permanent loss of visual acuity; however, this is the first U.S. Naval pilot who has been granted a waiver to return to unrestricted flight status with permanent defective visual acuity.
Pilot instrument monitoring has been described as “inadequate,” “ineffective,” and “insufficient” after multicrew aircraft accidents. Regulators have called for improved instrument monitoring by flight crews, but scientific knowledge in the area is scarce. Research has tended to investigate the monitoring of individual pilots when in the pilot-flying role; very little research has looked at crew monitoring, or that of the “monitoring-pilot” role despite it being half of the apparent problem.
General aviation (comprised mainly of noncommercial, light aircraft) accounts for 94% of civil aviation fatalities in the United States. Although thunderstorms are hazardous to light aircraft, little research has been undertaken on in-flight pilot decision-making regarding their avoidance. The study objectives were: 1) to determine if the thunderstorm accident rate has declined over the last two decades; and 2) assess in-flight (enroute/landing) airman decision-making regarding adherence to FAA separation minima from thunderstorms.
Purpose Home visiting programs for new families in the United States have traditionally served high-risk families. In contrast, universal home visiting models serve all families regardless of income, age, risk or other criteria. They offer an entry point into a system of care for children and families, with the potential to improve population health. This paper describes lessons learned from the first three years of implementing a universal home visiting model. Description Welcome Family is a universal home visiting program in Massachusetts that offers a one-time visit by a nurse to new mothers up to eight weeks postpartum. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) is piloting Welcome Family in four communities with the goal of expanding statewide. Assessment Welcome Family served over 3000 families in its first three years. Program performance measures provided a framework to examine successes and challenges related to outreach and enrollment, program operations, and linkages with community resources. Early challenges included increasing referrals to a new program and limited capacity to serve all women giving birth. Local implementing agencies tested innovative strategies and MDPH made program modifications, such as developing quarterly data reports and establishing a learning collaborative, to address identified challenges. Conclusion MDPH is committed to the success of Welcome Family and uses continuous quality improvement to maximize the impact of the program on families and the system of care in Massachusetts. Lessons learned from the Massachusetts pilot can inform other states' efforts to enhance their early childhood systems of care through expanding universal home visiting.
Aircrew are responsible for safe and reliable aircraft operations. Cardiovascular disease accounts for 50% of all pilot licences declined or withdrawn for medical reasons in Western Europe and is the most common cases of sudden incapacitation in flight. Aircrew retirement age is increasing (up to age 65) in a growing number of airlines and the burden of subclinical, but potentially significant, coronary atherosclerosis is unknown in qualified pilots above age 40. Safety considerations are paramount in aviation medicine, and the most dreaded cardiovascular complications are thromboembolic events and rhythm disturbances due to their potential for sudden incapacitation. In aviation, the current consensus risk threshold for an acceptable level of controlled risk of acute incapacitation is 1% (for dual pilot commercial operations), a percentage calculated using engineering principles to ensure the incidence of a fatal air accident is no greater than 1 per 107 h of flying. This is known as the ‘1% safety rule’. To fly as a pilot after cardiac surgery is possible; however, special attention to perioperative planning is mandatory. Choice of procedure is crucial for license renewal. Licensing restrictions are likely to apply and the postoperative follow-up requires a tight scheduling. The cardiac surgeon should always liaise and communicate with the pilot’s aviation medicine examiner prior to and following cardiac surgery.