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Rural health providers—improving farmer health and safety
  1. Perkins David,
  2. Boreland Frances,
  3. Lower Tony,
  4. Fragar Lyn
  1. Correspondence: Australian Centre for Agricultural Health and Safety PO Box 256 Moree, 2400 NSW, Australia


    Background Death rates for Australian farmers from specific causes are higher than their urban counterparts. Despite this, primary health care providers face many issues in engaging and assisting farmers to improve their health. The Farm Health and Safety Toolkit for Rural General Practices (the Toolkit) was developed to provide rural clinicians with a practical resource based on the best available evidence to help them recognise and respond to the health risks faced by farmers and farm workers. This study aimed to evaluate the Toolkit to determine its relevance and utility, identify any information gaps and determine the best way of distributing it to rural health professionals.

    Method Rural health professionals participated in workshops and completed surveys in relation to the materials involving pre- and post-workshop feedback.

    Results Respondents indicated the Toolkit is relevant, easy to use and fills an important gap in educational material available for rural health professionals. It needs to be made available in a number of formats, and in particular as electronic documents which can be linked into practice management software.

    Significance Further dissemination of the Toolkit and inclusion into existing electronic software packages will assist rural practitioners in assisting farmers to improve their health.

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