Online Program

Agricultural injury surveillance in the Central States region: Survey respondents' perspectives

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Ketki Patel, MD MPH, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Shinobu Watanabe-Galloway, PhD, Epidemiology Department, University of Nebraska Medical Center, College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Risto Rautiainen, PhD, Department of Environmental, Agricultural and Occupational Health, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Background:Evidence suggests that respondent views on the utility of a survey are linked with non-response and data quality. This research examined open-ended questions from annual injury surveys to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in survey methodology, specific questions, and critical issues when developing agricultural injury surveillance.

Methods:The Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health conducts agricultural injury surveillance in seven states (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD). Written comments from returned surveys were assessed by three evaluators. Emerging themes were identified using repetitions, similarities and differences, and cutting and sorting techniques. 

Results: 20,777 surveys were mailed out, covering years 2011-2013. The response rates varied from 33.1% to 37.2%. A mix of positive and non-supportive comments was observed. Some respondents appreciated the survey. Many identified themselves as ‘not a farm operator’ due to small farm size, retired status, having rented out the land, or keeping it in conservation reservation program. Negative views included perception of government interference, survey being a ‘waste of funds’, disinterest to receive any surveys, and connection to controversial child labor law policy. Some expressed their attention to safety awareness and having experienced no injuries on the farm. Others offered details on past injury incidents. Specific feedback on survey questions was also offered. The association of major themes and respondent attributes was evaluated quantitatively.

Conclusion: The identified themes, motivators and barriers can be used to improve future surveys and educate respondents about the utility of surveillance data in prevention of injuries and illness in agriculture.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify motivators and potential barriers for conducting agricultural injury surveillance in the Central States region. Evaluate the association between major themes and respondent characteristics.

Keyword(s): Survey, Data Collection and Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a trained physician, with an MPH in Environment and Occupational Health and currently a PhD candidate in Epidemiology. For over 3 years, I have been working as a graduate research assistant with Central States Center for Agricultural Safety and Health. My dissertation research titled "non-fatal agricultural injury surveillance among farm operators in the Central States region, United States" investigates injury incidence, its cost and risk factors using a novel agricultural injury surveillance model.
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.