The effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve knowledge and perceptions for reducing organophosphate pesticide exposure among Indonesian and South Australian migrant farmworkers
Ross, Kirstin Elizabeth
Edwards, John William
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Background Farmworkers are at risk of exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPs). Improvements of knowledge and perceptions about organophosphate (OP) exposure may be of benefit for the reduction in OP exposure. Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve knowledge and perceptions for reducing OP exposure among Indonesian and South Australian (SA) migrant farmworkers. Methods This was a quasi-experimental study. The educational intervention used a method of group communication for 30 Indonesian farmworkers and individual communication for seven SA migrant farmworkers. Knowledge and perceptions about OP exposure were measured pre-intervention and 3 months after the intervention. Results Unadjusted intervention effects at follow-up showed statistically significantly improved scores of knowledge (both adverse effects of OPs and self-protection from OP exposure), perceived susceptibility, and perceived barriers among Indonesian farmworkers compared with SA migrant farmworkers. Furthermore, these four significant variables in the unadjusted model and the two other variables (perceived severity and perceived benefits) were statistically significant after being adjusted for the level of education and years working as a farmworker. In contrast, knowledge about adverse effects of OPs was the only variable that was statistically significantly improved among SA migrant farmworkers. The results of this study suggests educational interventions using a method of group communication could be more effective than using individual intervention. Conclusion These improvements provide starting points to change health behavior of farmworkers, particularly to reduce OP exposure, both at the workplace and at home.