Health-related quality of life and associated factors of frontline railway workers: a cross-sectional survey in the Ankang area, Shaanxi Province, China

Xiaona Zhang, Gang Chen, Feng Xu, Kaina Zhou, Guihua Zhuang

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3 Citations (Scopus)


After validation of the widely used health-related quality of life (HRQOL) generic measure, the Short Form 36 version 2 (SF-36v2), we investigated the HRQOL and associated factors of frontline railway workers in China. Ground workers, conductors, and train drivers were selected from Ankang Precinct by using a stratified cluster sampling technique. A total of 784 frontline railway workers participated in the survey. The reliability and validity of SF-36v2 was satisfactory. The physical component summary (PCS) scores of three subgroups attained the average range for the USA general population, whereas the mental component summary (MCS) scores were well below the range. Most domains scored below the norm, except for the physical functioning (PF) domain. Among three subgroups, train drivers reported significantly lower scores on MCS and six health domains (excluding PF and bodily pain (BP)). After controlled confounders, conductors had significantly higher PCS and MCS scores than ground workers. There is heterogeneity on risk factors among three subgroups, but having long or irregular working schedules was negatively associated with HRQOL in all subgroups. SF-36v2 is a reliable and valid HRQOL measurement in railway workers in China. The frontline railway workers’ physical health was comparative to American norms, whilst mental health was relatively worse. Long or irregular working schedules were the most important factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1192
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • China
  • Frontline railway worker
  • Quality of life
  • Risk factor
  • Short form 36 version 2

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