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Heaton Receives NIOSH Grant for Truck Driver Study

Karen Heaton, PhD, CEN, FNP-BC, Assistant Professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing, received an R21 award from The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) for a study entitled the “Effects and Feasibility of a Computer-Based Intervention on Truck Driver’s Sleep.”  This two year, $380, 900 study seeks to: (1) translate a live, lecture-based sleep, alertness, and fatigue management program into a computer-based, internet-accessible format; (2) determine the feasibility of using this format with long-haul truck drivers; and (3) determine the effects of the internet-based program on sleep and fatigue in long-haul truck drivers.  This population is particularly at risk for sleep deprivation because of their erratic and unpredictable work schedules.   At the same time, they also experience the highest rates of occupational motor vehicle crashes among all job classifications in the United States.  Not only is sleep a health issue for these workers, but easy access to healthcare and health information is a problem for this highly mobile, remote group of workers.