Online Program

Effect of a multimodal intervention on pesticide safety among indigenous farmworkers in Oregon

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Jennifer Runkle, PhD, School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Julie Samples, JD, Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Hillsboro, OR
Juan Muniz, MS, School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Nargess Shadbeh, JD, Farmworker Program, Oregon Law Center, Portland, OR
Linda A. McCauley, RN, PhD, FAAN, FAAOHN, School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
Background: Biomonitoring studies have advanced our understanding of routes and patterns of exposure, yet there have been few studies designed to test the effectiveness of pesticide safety interventions on exposure levels in vulnerable indigenous farmworker populations. Method: A total of 157 indigenous berry field workers in Oregon were randomly assigned to one of four intervention groups: (1) promotor or peer educator training; (2) sociodrama; (3) video in their indigenous language or Spanish; and (4) control (training on general workplace issues). Pesticide knowledge scores were evaluated pre- and post-intervention. We also examined the effect of the training on each of four constructs of our Pesticide Knowledge Test: (1) Pesticide safety (PS), (2) General knowledge (GK), (3) Health education (HE), and (4) Worker Protection/Rights (WP). Results: We restricted our analysis to the 126 participants with pre- and post-knowledge tests. Results from 2012 follow-up showed a statistically significant improvement in total PKT scores for the promotor (t=3.84, p>0001), sociodrama (t=3.61, p<.001), video (t= 3.96, p<.0001), and control (t=2.99, p=.007) groups. For farmworkers who received training in their native language, we detected statistically significant gains in total PKT scores (t=3.36, p=.002), pesticide safety (PS) knowledge (t=3.81, p=.001), and knowledge of worker protection and rights (WP) (t=2.8, p=.02). Conclusion: Engagement in a culturally sensitive intervention resulted in both increased pesticide safety knowledge and significant gains in farmworker understanding of worker protection rights. More research is warranted to evaluate the delivery of our intervention to larger segments of the target population and the associated health outcomes.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Explain the effect of providing improved culturally and linguistically appropriate education on pesticide exposure levels in farmworkers speaking indigenous languages.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a lawyer, I have advocated for migrant farmworker rights for over 20 years. I have been director of Oregon Law Center's Farmworker Program since 2002 and work to improve living conditions for migrant workers in Oregon.
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.