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Clinical Trial Summary

The project is a cluster randomized controlled trial of an occupational health intervention for newly hired bus operators. Transit authorities will be randomized to intervention and usual practice conditions and new bus operators will be recruited to participate in a two year study. Intervention participants will complete a program designed to prevent weight gain while also supporting early adjustment and job success. Control participants will experience standard or usual practice working conditions.


Clinical Trial Description

Epidemiological evidence indicates that bus driving is associated with increased risk for obesity and some chronic diseases, and that it is time for interventions. In this regard, the early transition into bus driving has been neglected. Not only are interventions lacking for new employees entering potentially obesogenic occupations, but workplace training and socialization programs for new hires (referred to as onboarding) rarely address potential occupational health hazards.

To address research gaps, investigators will integrate an effective health intervention approach with traditional onboarding programs for new bus drivers. This intervention approach, which was originally developed with commercial truck drivers, was implemented through a mobile friendly website, and tactics included an incentivized game-like competition that was supported with behavior and body weight logging, computer-based training, and motivational interviewing. In a cluster-randomized trial with commercial truck drivers the intervention produced a mean body weight effect of -7.29 lbs (p<.0001; Olson et al, 2016), which is among the strongest results observed globally with occupational drivers.

In the proposed intervention adaptation, the "SHIFT Onboard" intervention (Success & Health Impacts For Transit drivers during Onboarding) will be designed to prevent weight gain among new bus drivers while also supporting early adjustment and job success. The primary hypotheses are that relative to usual practice, SHIFT Onboard participants will have (1) superior energy balance behaviors (sleep, eating, exercise) and (2) less weight gain. Investigators will also evaluate impacts on new employee adjustment and economic outcomes that are critical to employers; the ultimate adopters of occupational health interventions. This project will take place over five years and will accomplish three specific aims:

1. Adapt proven tactics and pilot SHIFT Onboard with new bus drivers: Through formative research with transit partners and iterative testing with drivers investigators will adapt existing web technology, intervention tactics, and training content for newly hired mass transit bus drivers. The adapted SHIFT Onboard intervention will then be pilot tested with new drivers at a partner transit authority.

2. Determine the efficacy of SHIFT Onboard for preventing weight gain. Metropolitan transit authorities, stratified by size, will be randomly assigned to intervention or usual practice control conditions. SHIFT Onboard will be implemented with natural groups of bus operators who complete training together during the first year. Primary intervention effectiveness outcomes will be between-groups differences at 1- and 2-year follow-ups in changes in energy balance behaviors (sleep, eating, exercise) and body weight.

3. Evaluate new employee adjustment and economic impacts of SHIFT Onboard. Investigators will also evaluate intervention impacts on new bus operator adjustment (role stress, confidence, connectedness) and job attitudes (job satisfaction, intention to remain). Economic return on investment calculations will contrast intervention costs relative to savings projected from intervention effects (e.g., health care costs, absenteeism, safety).

Investigators will also collect measures of work demands, stressors, and strains (responses to stressors) at all time points to characterize occupational exposures among the sample, and to explore for possible associations with workers' health outcomes. ;


Study Design


Related Conditions & MeSH terms


NCT number NCT03730792
Study type Interventional
Source Oregon Health and Science University
Contact Ryan Olson, PhD
Phone 503-494-2501
Email olsonry@ohsu.edu
Status Not yet recruiting
Phase N/A
Start date December 1, 2018
Completion date January 31, 2023

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