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Title: The perceived severity of travel fatigue and performance effects following transmeridian flights
Author: Flower, David John Colin
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1996
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This two phase study examines the effects of transmeridian travel on airline passengers crossing 5 time zones or more. In Phase 1, a questionnaire was developed to assess the perceived severity of travel fatigue in 100 subjects flying east or west, and the findings correlated with their scores from the Circadian Type Inventory (CTI) and Composite Morningness Questionnaire (CMQ). The questionnaire provided an internally consistent measure of fatigue and established a correlation between the severity of travel fatigue and transmeridian flights, but failed to detect any significant difference between travel east or west. In addition, the CTI and CMQ scores did not assist in identifying those individuals most affected by travel fatigue. Phase 2 examined the influence of transmeridian travel on mood, affect, well-being and cognitive performance in 20 subjects who had previously participated in Phase 1. On each of five round-trips, subjects completed a computer based sleep diary and subjective rating scales of well-being using a preprogrammed Psion[registered] Organiser. They were further assessed using tests of cognitive performance and data analysed from a total of 86 outbound journeys. Subjective rating scales for Alertness, Effectiveness and Mental Demand were all reduced following transmeridian travel although conversely ratings for Cheerfulness, Calmness, Appetite Disturbance and Physical Tiredness increased as did alcohol consumption. There was no effect on Length of Sleep although Quality of Sleep was lower on the first night after arrival overseas. Assessment of cognitive performance failed to demonstrate a Day effect but showed a marked Time of Day effect. Both Serial Choice Reaction Time and Memory Search Task scores were faster and the former more accurate over the Time Period 10:00 to 15:59. There was also a clear Day[asterisk]Time interaction in speed of response for both tests which persisted until seven days after the time zone shift.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available