Assistant Professor, Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College & Hopsital
Assessment of mental health of cab drivers who usually work under stressful and tiring conditions
In recent years, professional cab driving has seen a revolution with the advent of application based cab services. The characteristics of these services are that they are of high quality, extremely time-bound and reasonably cheap. This poses a great burden on the service providers – the cab drivers. With over 70,000 vehicles running as cabs, a good number of accidents, road rage cases and traffic violations involve the same. The mental health of drivers plays a key role in the increasing menace on road. This study was undertaken to know the mental health status of cab drivers in the capital region. Additionally, other health problems and addictions were also assessed. There is a scarcity of data on the health status of cab drivers in this region and this study is a pioneer one. Over 100 cab drivers were selected at random and interviewed with the help of a pre-tested questionnaire tool to assess any depression, anxiety and stress amongst them. Other important information like demographic details, usage of habit forming substances, physical activity status, diet and sleep patterns, was also collected. Shockingly, many facts came forward like drivers being overworked, driving more than 200 kms and working more than 12 hours in a day. They were mishandled by customers and were under paid by the cab companies. Notably, one-fourth of the drivers are mostly irritated while driving. Most common causes of irritation being rude behavior of customers, traffic congestion and not getting any booking. More than one-fourth of participants have gastrointestinal and musculoskeletal problems like acidity, constipation, backache and pain in legs. More than half of the drivers have not undergone screening for any chronic disease and out of those who got screened- 0.9% & 2.7% have developed diabetes & hypertension respectively in the previous year. More than one-third were users of habit forming substances like tobacco and alcohol. More than half of them had some degree of depression and one-third had anxiety and stress.