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Agricultural Disability Awareness and Risk Education (AgDARE) for high school students
  1. D B Reed1,
  2. P S Kidd2,
  3. S Westneat3,
  4. M K Rayens4
  1. 1University of Kentucky College of Nursing and University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Lexington
  2. 2Arizona State University College of Nursing, Tempe
  3. 3University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, Lexington
  4. 4University of Kentucky College of Nursing, Lexington
  1. Correspondence to:
 Deborah Reed, Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, 1141 Red Mile Road, Suite 102, Lexington, KY 450504, USA
 dbreed01{at}pop.uky.edu

Abstract

Objective—Develop and test a farm health and injury prevention educational intervention for high school agriculture students.

Setting—Twenty one high schools in Kentucky, Iowa, and Mississippi.

Methods—A quasiexperimental crossover design was used to test the effectiveness of two sets of instructional materials designed through participatory action research with agriculture teachers and students. Narrative simulations based on farm work stories and simulations of farm work while students pretended to have a disability were completed in 14 schools (n = 373) over the academic year. Students in seven control schools (n = 417) received no intervention but completed, in the same time frame as students in the treatment schools, demographic surveys and pre-measures and post-measures of farm safety attitudes and intent to change safety behaviors. One year after the intervention, 29 students from the treatment group received farm visits to measure their farm safety behaviors.

Results—Students engaged in hazardous work on farms. Thirty two were involved in tractor overturns and 11 had received injuries from rotating power take-off mechanisms. One fourth reported hearing problems, and 21% had respiratory symptoms after working in dusty farm surroundings. Students who completed at least two physical and two narrative simulations of the Agricultural Disability Awareness and Risk Education (AgDARE) curriculum showed statistically significant positive changes in farm safety attitude and intent to change behaviors.

Conclusions—Adolescents engage in farm work that places them at risk for injury and illness. The AgDARE curriculum may be an effective and efficient method of teaching farm safety in high school agriculture classes.

  • agriculture
  • education
  • teens
  • occupational injury

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