208827 Airing our dirty laundry: Occupational hazards and coping mechanisms of household workers

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:15 PM

Ruby R. Gonzalez , School of Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Nancy Zuniga, BS , Chemistry Department, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Adam Richards, MD, MPH , UCLA Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program, Department of General Internal Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Marlom Portillo , Workers Health Project, Institute of Popular Education of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
Michael A. Rodriguez, MD, MPH , Department of Family Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Deogracia Cornelio, MA , Labor Occupational Safety & Health Program/IRLE, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Description: Household workers compose a large part of an unseen workforce who clean homes, care for children, do laundry, cook meals and perform other duties. Potential hazards include toxic fume exposure and risk of back injuries as well as abuse, sexual harassment, discrimination, and none or very low access to medical care. This study examines the experiences and perspectives of female immigrant household workers to better understand the occupational hazards and coping approach of these women, who compose the majority of this workforce.

Methods: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnered approach to research that includes organizational representatives, community members and researchers as equal partners through the research process. This process results in knowledge relevant to the communities of interest. We use a CBPR approach to conduct twenty in-depth qualitative interviews to identify occupational hazards and coping mechanisms among household workers in Los Angeles County.

Results: Anticipated results include assessment of: (1) the formation of the community-academic partnership; (2) the collaboration in designing a community-academic partnered study; and (3) experiences with exposures to occupational hazards and their coping approaches when confronted with occupational hazards and injuries that result from their workplace.

Learning Objectives:
1. Explain CBPR partnerships from both the academic and community perspectives. 2. Identify occupational hazards household workers encounter. 3. Describe coping mechanisms used by household workers to protect their health.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the student principal investigator for this study
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.