Behind Closed Curtains on Eighteen Wheels: The Risk Factors and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence in Female Long-Haul Truck Drivers

Monday, 9 November 2015

Kimberly M. Bourne, MSN, BSN, RN, SANE, CEN, EMT-B
College of Nursing, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, USA

Background.  Intimate partner violence affects more than 1.3 million women in the United States (US) each year and 50% of all female homicides are committed by current or former intimate partners.  Intimate partners are defined as a spouse or sex partner who cohabitate together.  There are nearly 122,000 female long-haul truck drivers in the US who drive as part of a team with their intimate partners.  Their jobs require them to be in close proximity with their intimate partners 24-hours a day for days to weeks at a time increasing the potential for intimate partner violence.  Little has been published in the nursing literature about intimate partner violence in female long-haul truck drivers, the risk factors of intimate partner violence associated with female long-haul truck drivers, or the health outcomes related to intimate partner violence in female long-haul truck drivers.  It is important for nurses, who are often the first to see evidence of intimate partner violence, to understand the risks and consequences of intimate partner violence within the trucking industry.  Purpose.  The purpose of this poster presentation is to present what is currently known about intimate partner violence as it applies to long-haul trucking and to outline the physical and psychological health outcomes of intimate partner violence in female long-haul truck drivers.  Method.  A literature search was conducted utilizing the key words intimate partner violence, women, and workplace in four databases: PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, and MedLine.  Peer-reviewed articles in English published between 1993 and 2014, with adult females were inclusion criteria.  Those articles which focused on only males or medical personnel were excluded from the review. Prevalence rates, factors associated with intimate partner violence, experiences with intimate partner violence, and physical and psychological health consequences relating to intimate partner violence were abstracted for this review.  Results.  Victims who were young to middle age, had a lower socioeconomic status, had less education, and had a prior history with abuse have been identified at a higher risk for experiencing intimate partner violence. The health outcomes associated with intimate partner violence are both physical and psychological including headaches, generalized chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  Recommendations for future research include examining the relationship between length of time on the road and the increased risk for intimate partner violence and evaluating the relationship status between team drivers and the incident rate of intimate partner violence.  In addition, comparing the similarities and differences in risk factors for female long-haul truck drivers and women in non-male dominated professions in order to develop interventions to reduce the risk of intimate partner violence in female long-haul truck drivers needs to be examined.  The target audience for this presentation includes researchers and professional nurses who may come in contact with female long-haul truck drivers.