249187 Providing pesticide safety training to farmworker families: Evaluation of an intervention to translate research to practice

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 4:55 PM

Sara A. Quandt, PhD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Joseph G. Grzywacz, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Maria C. Mirabelli, PhD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University SChool of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Jennifer W. Talton, MS , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Grisel Trejo, MPH , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
Janeth Tapia , Community Health Research, North Carolina Farmworkers Project, Benson, NC
Ralph d'Agostino Jr., PhD , Division of Public Health Sciences, Wake Forest University School of Mediciine, Winston-Salem, NC
Thomas A. Arcury, PhD , Department of Family and Community Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC
The Worker Protection Standard mandates pesticide safety training for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. However, no safety training is required for family members, who often must implement home sanitation and hygiene practices to protect against paraoccupational pesticide exposure. Although several limited studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of pesticide education programs for farmworker families, there have been no large, carefully evaluated demonstration projects placing these in the public health sphere. This project translates an effective intervention to improve farmworker family knowledge of pesticide safety to a broader public health context.

Six public health agencies recruited promotoras from the farmworker community. Promotoras were trained to enroll families with a child ≤ 12 years and administer a culturally and educationally appropriate curriculum of six lessons in the home. Independently conducted pre/post tests evaluated 18 learning objectives.

Adults (usually mothers) in 610 families completed the study over 18 months. Most were from Mexico; 62% had <9th grade education; 90% reported 5+ promotora visits. Significant increases in knowledge occurred across all 18 learning objectives, including knowledge of long-term consequences of pesticide exposure (correct knowledge increased: 19% to 71%), integrated pest management approaches (1% to 56%), how to convince others to adopt pesticide safety behaviors (8% to 52%), and minimizing the exposure of unborn babies and children (52% to 99%).

This project demonstrates that this curriculum produces improvements in knowledge of ways to protect farmworker families from pesticide exposure. It also shows that women from the farmworker community, with limited training, can effectively carry out this program.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
After listening to this presentation, learners will be able to: Describe the need for conducting demonstration projects of programs with demonstrated effectiveness in research settings Describe a lay health advisor approach to reducing pesticide exposure in farmworker families List the changes in knowledge resulting from exposure to such a program

Keywords: Immigrants, Occupational Injury and Death

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am principal investigator of the study to be presented. I a professor of Anthropology and epidemiology at Wake Forest University. I have conducted extramurally funded health disparities research since 1986 and have over 250 publications based on this.
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.