Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Health Risks among Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers in East Texas. (Health)

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Health Risks among Migrant and Seasonal Farm Workers in East Texas. (Health)

Article excerpt

Over three million migrant and seasonal farm workers support a multibillion dollar U.S. agricultural industry. Yet, many farm workers work and live in isolated and unsanitary conditions with exposure to agricultural toxins that place them at great health risk. Lack of insurance and service access, poverty, language and culture differences, and low risk perceptions contribute to serious health problems within this workforce. Unfortunately, government funds needed for health promotion and primary care are difficult to obtain due to lack of data-based, documented proof that such need exists. Local health professionals are often keenly aware of the need, but heavy work schedules and inadequate budgets thwart needed documentation efforts. This pilot study was designed to begin obtaining such documentation through assessment of health-related needs among Cherokee County (east Texas) farm workers. Research questions addressed were: (a) What are the health risks, health-related issues, and characteristics of this population? (b) What do these findings indicate regarding the design of appropriate health risk interventions and health-related services? Qualitative (focus group interviews) and quantitative (face-to-face surveys) data-collection methods were utilized to answer the questions. In four focus group sessions, two representative samples of target population members and two of local health and community service providers were asked to describe common health risk behaviors and contributing factors among Cherokee County migrant and seasonal farm workers. …

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