184661 Training community based health advocates to identify risks for work-related musculoskeletal disorders with immigrant workers

Monday, October 27, 2008: 1:30 PM

Lori A. Edwards , School of Nursing, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD
Jacqueline Agnew, RN, MPH, PhD , Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Diane Vy Vu , Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Assocation, Silver Spring, MD
There are growing concerns that immigrant workers, a vulnerable population, are at high risk for work- related health problems. One specific occupational group, Vietnamese American nail salon workers, are known to experience exposures to chemicals and other hazards which have been described previously. We have recently focused on another set of potential threats to these workers - work organization factors and musculoskeletal disorders. In addition to specific hazards, however, immigrant communities often possess limited ability to advocate for improved working conditions, thus making it challenging to reach this hidden group of workers. We have worked in partnership with a community advocacy organization, Maryland Vietnamese Mutual Association to identify the perceived work-related problems of Vietnamese American nail salon workers and to develop ways to reduce these. After observational analysis of work practices, multiple key informant interviews, focus groups, community meetings, and community surveys, the issue of work related musculoskeletal disorders was identified as a key concern. A summary of this work will be presented. We will describe the community based participatory research (CBPR) process of training community health advocates on principles of ergonomics. Secondly, we will report our findings related to an ergonomic assessment survey that was conducted by the health advocates. Additional health risks associated with work organization factors will be described. Finally, we will present our evaluation of our use of CBPR strategies with this community. This research has revealed important health implications for this growing population of Vietnamese-American nail salon workers.

Learning Objectives:
1.Discuss three work related health risks identified for Vietnamese-American nail salon workers. 2.Describe the approach to training community health advocates in the utilization of an ergonomic assessment tool. 3.Describe the community-based participatory research processes used to access this worker population.

Keywords: Immigrants, Community-Based Partnership

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have conducted this research as a doctoral candidate. I also have prior research and educational experience. I have presented previously at APHA and I have published.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.