Vol. 5 nº 3 - Jul/Aug/Set de 2011
Original Article Páginas: 209 a 215

Brazilian air traffic controllers exhibit excessive sleepiness

Authors Valdenilson Ribeiro Ribas1; Cláudia Ângela Vilela de Almeida3; Hugo André de Lima Martins4; Carlos Frederico de Oliveira Alves5; Marcos José Pinheiro Cândido Alves6; Severino Marcos de Oliveira Carneiro7; Valéria Ribeiro Ribas8; Carlos Augusto Carvalho de Vasconcelos9; Everton Botelho Sougey10; Raul Manhães de Castro2


keywords: somnolence, sleep latency, air traffic controllers.

Excessive sleepiness (ES) is an increased tendency to initiate involuntary sleep for naps at inappropriate times. Objective: The objective of this study was to assess ES in air traffic controllers (ATCo). Methods: 45 flight protection professionals were evaluated, comprising 30 ATCo, subdivided into ATCo with ten or more years in the profession (ATCo>10, n=15) and ATCo with less than ten years in the profession (ATCo<10, n=15) and 15 aeronautical information services operators (AIS), subdivided into AIS with ten years or more in the profession (AIS>10, n=8) and AIS with less than ten years in the profession (AIS<10, n=7), who were included as the control group. The Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Maintenance of Wakefulness Test were used for evaluating subjective and objective excessive sleepiness. Kruskal-Wallis was used for ES and Mann-Whitney for sleep latency (SL), collection time in minutes (mins), and expressed as Median (Minimum-Maximum), p<0.05. Results: ATCo>10 12 (6-14) mins and ATCo<10 10 (1-15) mins showed greater sleepiness compared to CONTROL1 7 (3-8) mins and CONTROL2 6 (4-6) mins, p=0.001*. A total of 77.27% of the ATCo and 16.67% of the AIS had an SL of less than 20 minutes. The ATCo presented an SL of 16.59 (3.25-40), lower than that of the AIS of 31.71 (10.63-40) mins, p<0.05*. Conclusion: Brazilian air traffic controllers exhibit excessive sleepiness.


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