Mental health and defense mechanism among flight attendants in a commercial airline in Thailand

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Pollert Puangsorn
Napakkawat Buathong


Background : Flight attendants have different job descriptions with unpredictable flight roster, a self-adjustment to varied designated layovers including facing problems during the flight. Problems may lead to mental health and
defense mechanism in adaptation and problem solving. In Thailand, there has never been any research on flight attendants mental health and defense mechanism.

Objectives : To study mental health, defense mechanism, and related factors of mental health among flight attendants of a commercial airline in Thailand.

Methods : Data were collected from 260 flight attendants of Thai commercial airline between August and December 2016. The Questionnaire included:
1) general information;

2) work related factors information;

3) psychosocial factors information;

4) The defense Style Questionnaire-60 (DSQ-60);

5) Thai Mental Health Indicator Version 2007 (TMHI-55). The data were analyzed by descriptive statistics, Chi-square, Odds ratio (OR) with 95% Confidence interval (95%CI), Independent sample t-test, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient and Multiplelogistic regression analysis.

Results The study showed that 52.3% of flight attendants had an average mental health, while 25.6% revealed above average, and 22.1% were categorized under average. The study also indicated the result in defense
mechanism arena that the most of flight attendants (83.7%) employed adaptive defense. The multiple logistic regression analysis found that the risk factors that affect the under average mental health were performance satisfaction towards their work in less-satisfied level and not satisfied (ORadj = 2.86 : 95%CI = 1.19 - 6.85), employing affect regulating defense (ORadj = 6.92 : 95%CI = 2.85 - 16.81) and problems with college or supervisor (ORadj = 2.22 : 95%CI = 1.06 - 4.64).

Conclusion : A company should provide easy access of giving advices and counseling services to improve the working skills and daily problem-solving skills that help strengthen problem-solving skills, defense mechanism and
good mental health of flight attendants.

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Modern Medicine