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Risk Perception, Beliefs about Prevention, and Preventive Behaviors of Farmers

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health. 4(1):15-24 . (doi: 10.13031/2013.15345) @1998
Authors:   S. E.Wadud, M.W. Kreuter, S. Clarkson
Keywords:   Risk perception, Occupational health, Prevention

Because the concept of health in agrarian philosophy is nearly synonymous with ability to work, it seems likely that diseases having little immediate impact on a farmers ability to work may be ignored until they have progressed to a disabling state. In order to develop effective health and safety programs to reduce the burden of illness and injury among farmers, it is important to understand the relationship between their beliefs about prevention and their actual safety practices. In this study, 300 farmers in central Missouri were surveyed to identify beliefs and practices regarding the prevention of respiratory diseases, noise induced hearing loss, and skin cancer. For each problem, farmers who expressed concern about the problem and who also believed it was preventable were more likely to report taking preventive measures than were those who did not believe the disease was preventable, those who were not concerned about it, or both. Understanding the beliefs, values, and concerns of a population is one of the most important steps in assessing its health needs and a fundamental precursor to planning health and safety programs. Based on findings from this study, three recommendations are made for the development of health promotion programs to reduce agricultural health and injury problems.

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