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Evaluating the effectiveness of a lay health promoter-led, community-based participatory pesticide safety intervention with farmworker families.

Quandt-SA; Grzywacz-JG; Talton-JW; Trejo-G; Tapia-J; D'Agostino-RB Jr.; Mirabelli-MC; Arcury-TA
Health Promot Pract 2013 May; 14(3):425-432
Pesticide safety training is mandated for migrant and seasonal farmworkers. However, none is required for family members, who implement home sanitation to protect against pesticide exposure and need to control pests in substandard housing. Controlled studies have demonstrated the efficacy of pesticide education programs for farmworker families, but no carefully evaluated demonstration projects have shown effectiveness in public health settings. This project evaluates a lay health promoter program to improve pesticide-related knowledge and practices. Promotoras from six agencies recruited families with children to deliver a six-lesson, in-home, culturally and educationally appropriate curriculum. Independently conducted pre- and posttests evaluated changes in knowledge and practices. Adults in 610 families completed the study. Most were from Mexico, with low levels of formal education. Significant improvements in knowledge were observed for all six lessons. Significant improvements were observed in practices related to para-occupational exposure and residential pest control. Lay health promoters with limited training and supervision can have significant impacts on families' knowledge and practices. They represent a workforce increasingly recognized as a force for reducing health disparities by providing culturally appropriate health education and other services. This study adds to the literature by demonstrating their effectiveness in a public health setting with rigorous evaluation.
Agricultural-processes; Agricultural-chemicals; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Agriculture; Pesticides; Pesticides-and-agricultural-chemicals; Families; Farmers; Safety-education; Safety-measures; Safety-programs; Training; Health-hazards; Health-programs; Health-protection; Employee-exposure; Seasonal-activity; Sociological-factors; Racial-factors; Safety-practices; Work-practices; Author Keywords: community-based participatory research; lay health promoter; demonstration project; migrant and seasonal farmworkers; occupational health and safety; pesticide exposure
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Health Promotion Practice
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Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Winston-Salem