Online Program

Text messaging for farmworker safety: The Text4Salud project

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:50 a.m.

Iana Simeonov, public health institute, oakland, CA
Kristina M. Hamm, MPH, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Faith Raider, MA, California Department of Public Health Occupational Health Branch, Richmond, CA
Text4Salud tested the effectiveness of text messaging in delivering pesticide safety information to Spanish-dominant farmworkers. The project included the California Department of Public Health and a coalition of Monterey and Santa Cruz county community-based organizations.

From 2006-2010, 43% of California’s occupational pesticide illnesses involved farmworkers. Workers and their families suffer many adverse many health effects and need ongoing information and resources.

Our research showed high rates of mobile phone use, including texting, among farmworkers. Coalition promotores also wanted digital resources and indicated their clients text.

Content from was adapted and prioritized by promotores, ensuring an authentic voice and community buy-in. We then crafted information-rich 160-character texts on pesticide illness, reporting, and prevention.

A self-deployed, feature and analytics-rich text messaging platform used by us since 2010 for several bilingual public health campaigns was utilized. Promotores recruited farmworkers. Sign-up was done by texting the word “texto,” to our project shortcode. Participants could opt-out any time. Over 12 weeks during the spring 2014 growing season, 44 farmworkers received 43 messages including 5 evaluation questions.

Evaluative messages focused on acquired knowledge and actions taken (“Do you change your work boots/shoes before entering your home? Text yes or no) and the service (“Do you find these messages about protecting yourself and your family from pesticides helpful? Yes or no”). The average response rate was 40%, higher than the 23% norm cited by the Mobile Marketing Association for mobile campaigns. Ninety-three percent of farmworkers found the messages helpful and wanted more health information via text.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process required to concept, develop and launch a text-messaging project Identify how text messaging fits into an overall health education and outreach strategy Discuss key factors related to Hispanics and mHealth

Keyword(s): Latinos, Technology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: 15 years of experience in public health research, multi-year APHA, NIH and CDC conference presenter. Focus on Hispanic populations, creator of numerous national bilingual health education tools including some of the first digital tools for health workers, text-messaging campaigns, online games, apps and digital and mobile tools for public health programs and projects nationwide.
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.