193787 Reducing the Individual Cost of Behavior Change:The Evaluation of a Tractor Safety Social Marketing Intervention

Sunday, November 8, 2009

John J. May, MD , The NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, NY
Julie A. Sorensen, PhD , The NY Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health, Bassett Healthcare, Cooperstown, NY
Background: Farm tractor overturns account for the largest percentage of farm fatalities in the U.S., making this a priority for health and safety research. Despite years of educational interventions, the proportion of tractors lacking rollover protective structures (ROPS) has changed little in recent decades. A social marketing (SM) approach was devised to encourage ROPS retrofitting in New York. This was evaluated with a quasi-randomized controlled trial of various combinations of incentives in selected regions of NY and Pennsylvania.

Methods: Incentives were randomly assigned within several comparable regions of both NY and PA. Telephone surveys assessed individual readiness to retrofit, intention to retrofit and behavior change. 704 randomly selected small-scale crop and livestock farmers within the study regions were surveyed pre and post intervention by the New York National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Calls regarding rebates and actual retrofits were tracked regionally.

Results: Significant changes in readiness to retrofit were found in the two regions receiving rebates (p=.016). More individuals (39%) recalled seeing ROPS ads in the “SM region” than in the “rebate” (25%) or “message” (21%) regions (p<.0001). The “SM” region showed the most significant increase in behavioral intention (p=.003). Increases in behavioral intentions were most highly correlated with increases in social norms (social norms p<.0001). More calls and retrofits occurred in the SM region.

Conclusions: The combination of emotional appeal (SM) messages, facilitation and rebate incentives was most effective in increasing farmer's intention to retrofit and readiness to retrofit.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the methods used to conduct a pilot study of potential tractor safety incentives. Identify significant trends that were identified in the pilot study analysis. Discuss the potential implications of pilot study results for occupational health and safety initiatives.

Keywords: Agricultural Work Safety, Social Marketing

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the coordinator for this project and have conducted a great deal of the research related to the presentation topic. The data related to the study has been published by me and my co-presenter in six different papers and as part of my thesis dissertation.
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.