All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Karen Heaton

Advisory Committee Members

David Calhoun

Gwendolyn Childs

Gareth Dutton

Jennan Phillips

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2018

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Nursing

Abstract

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic health condition affecting an estimated 13-26% of U.S. adults. The condition is characterized by partial or total airway collapse. It has been associated with increased cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus morbidity. Risk factors include middle-age, obesity, male gender, narrowed airway, and smoking. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the recommended treatment for OSA. Though it is an effective treatment modality, uptake and adherence to CPAP remains low. With concern for public safety, OSA has received a great amount of attention in the trucking industry. When working over the road, long-haul truck drivers diagnosed with OSA use CPAP while sleeping in the sleeping berth in their trucks. Research in this group has focused on OSA diagnosis, screening, and the relationship to motor vehicle crashes. However, there has been limited research in the area of truck drivers’ health behaviors, such as CPAP management. The purpose of this dissertation was to conduct: a) an analysis examining mandatory OSA screening policy options; b) a comprehensive review of literature on CPAP use from the client’s perspective; and c) an exploratory descriptive study examining long-haul truck drivers’ CPAP use when working over the road. The results of this three-article dissertation demonstrate the influences of policy on CPAP use in the trucking industry and provide insight on the experience of CPAP use from the long-haul driver’s viewpoint. Despite a variety of barriers, long-haul truck drivers are able to successfully use CPAP when working over the road. Some of the challenges they face in managing CPAP are similar to those of individuals in the general population; however, many are unique to their work environment. Findings of the exploratory study highlight opportunities for tailored education and support that have the potential to enhance the long-haul truck driver’s CPAP use and thereby increase CPAP adherence and safety.

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Nursing Commons

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