Development of a Culturally Effective Educational Program in the Prevention of Heat Stress Among Spanish Speaking Hispanic Farm Workers in Rural East Tennessee

This inter-professional pilot study uses a community based participatory research (CBPR) approach to develop and evaluate a culturally effective method to educate Spanish speaking Hispanic farm workers about the prevention of heat stress, an occupational health concern identified through an assessment of Hispanic farm workers recently conducted in east Tennessee. While occupational risk and safety hazard training is provided to Hispanic farm workers at the beginning of each season in the east Tennessee region, this training is normed on the general population and provided to the farm worker in an office at the farm. It is not clear how well the Spanish speaking farm worker understands the content or if it fosters preventive health practices among farm workers when working in the fields. A pretest questionnaire administered to twenty Hispanic farm workers who work fulltime in the fields during the summer months in east Tennessee region will determine baselines of knowledge on heat related health hazards and prevention behaviors, followed by two focus groups comprised of the same farm workers and facilitated by a native Spanish speaker to gather their attitudes, perceptions and understanding, including preference of educational materials on heat-related health hazards and prevention behaviors, methods of dissemination, and setting. Based on these results, an educational program will be developed in collaboration with an advisory committee consisting of Hispanic community leaders, farm workers and owners in the area. The educational program will be presented to the original twenty farm workers and a posttest will be conducted to determine changes in content knowledge.