Research to date on the effect vehicle-ride exposure has on the development of cervical pathologies in mounted Warfighters is conflicting. The purpose of this study was to determine if the literature suggests a definite effect of vehicle-ride exposure on cervical pathology. Databases were searched using multiple combinations of select terms. Twelve studies meeting the inclusion criteria were included in the meta-analysis. The results of the meta-analysis revealed that overall vehicle-ride exposure was likely to increase cervical pathology (p=0.01, odds ratio=1.59, 95% CI=1.16−2.17). Using vehicle type as a moderator it was found that vehicle-ride exposure in ground-based vehicles (p=0.01, odds ratio=2.33, 95% CI=1.41−3.85) and fixed-wing aircraft (p=0.01, odds ratio =1.59, 95% CI=1.13−2.23) were likely to increase cervical pathology. Using operator/other personnel moderator it was found that in the populations tested, fighter pilots or fighter jet weapons systems operators were more likely to develop a cervical pathology (p<0.001, odds ratio=1.78, 95% CI=1.26−2.50). The available studies indicate an increase in cervical pathology for personnel exposed to ground-based vehicles and fixed-wing aircraft.
2015 by National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health