Background: Due to their job nature, cross-border truck drivers working between Hong Kong and China are exposed to many health risks. The aim of this study was to find out the impact of their occupation on their psychological health and sexual dysfunction and to assess their sexual risk behaviors.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 193 male cross-border truck drivers was conducted in 2004 using a 47-item multifaceted questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and odds ratio (OR).
Results: One third of the respondents (31.2%) experienced crashes (road traffic accidents), and those who had "driving and drinking" were much more likely to have experienced accidents [OR 4.7, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.3-9.4]. About 14.5 and 25.9% of respondents reported feeling depressed and anxious, respectively, while 24.1% reported sexual dysfunction. They were strongly related to smoking (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.4-5.7) and drinking habits (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.2-4.5), which was common in this group of men: about half of them had smoking (53.1%) and drinking habits (45.3%). Over half (51.0%) admitted risky sexual behaviors. Those engaged in these behaviors were more likely to feel depressed (OR 7.4, 95% CI 2.4-22.4) and be worried about contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) (OR 5.3, 95% CI 2.7-10.3) or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (OR 3.8, 95% CI 2.0-7.3).
Conclusion: The problems of poor psychological health, sexual dysfunction, and sexual risk behaviors are common among cross-border truck drivers in Hong Kong. These problems are also found to be interrelated. Community programs to promote psychological health and proper sexual values, reduce smoking and drinking, and educate on STIs/HIV are urgently needed.