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Ridvan Firestone

Doctor of Philosophy, (Public Health)
Study Completed: 2006
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome Among Taxi Drivers: Consequences and Barriers to Accessing Health Services

Dr Firestone researched Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome (OSAS), a sleep disorder characterised by repetitive pauses of breathing caused by collapse of the airways, resulting in lack of oxygen to the brain. OSAS causes sleep disruption, daytime sleepiness, and increases the risk of vehicle accidents. The research aims involved estimating the preva len ce of OSAS symptoms and risk factors, and identifying barriers to accessing health services. Results from a questionnaire-based screening tool showed a high proportion of taxi drivers had a moderate to high risk of OSAS. Focus group analyses revealed drivers were deterred from seeking care due to limited knowledge of OSAS, confusion about responsibility for health and safety, high medical costs, and fear of finding out about other health conditions. General practitioners also demonstrated little knowledge about sleep health. Dr Firestone concluded a need for concurrent measures to address systemic issues in both the taxi industry and health care system.

Professor Philippa Gander

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