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033 Increasing occupational health equity through community engaged research
  1. Shannon Guillot-Wright,
  2. Ellie Cherryhomes,
  3. Lacy Davis
  1. University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, USA


Statement of Purpose Commercial fishing is a dangerous occupation, with a fatality rate 30x higher than the national average. The industry also includes a substantial number of vulnerable populations, including older and (im)migrant workers. Histories of structural violence, such as racism and classism, combined with some of the harshest working conditions, further contributes to their health inequities. To better understand obstacles to workplace safety and what could improve injury prevention, we conducted a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project with Gulf Coast shrimpers.

Methods/Approach Using CBPR, we visited shrimpers over the course of six months to build trust and rapport and conduct workplace observations, semi-structured interviews (n=61), and focus group discussions (n=15). After initial data was collected, we analyzed it using an inductive approach. Specifically, we were interested in understanding how or if the social determinants of health (SDoH) impact workplace injury.

Results Data analysis showed that shrimper’s injuries could not be delinked from their social world. They discussed issues of injury within larger structural contexts of having little to no health care. Their lack of health care options varied, but included lack of coverage, little time to make appointments between shrimping trips, financial and language barriers, and lost, missing, or incorrect citizenship documentation.

Conclusion Involving and engaging our population in the research process produced more relevant results and allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of the factors related to injury prevention. This research adds to the growing literature around the benefits of using CBPR with populations who have been made vulnerable.

Significance When applied to high-risk occupational settings, CBPR can improve health and prevent injury. This research adds to the growing literature detailing the potential benefits of using CBPR, and meeting people where they are, especially populations who have been historically marginalized.

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