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The effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve knowledge and perceptions for reducing organophosphate pesticide exposure among Indonesian and South Australian migrant farmworkers

Authors Suratman S, Ross KE, Babina K, Edwards JW

Received 6 October 2015

Accepted for publication 3 December 2015

Published 19 January 2016 Volume 2016:9 Pages 1—12

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RMHP.S97733

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Mary Schmeida

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Professor Frank Papatheofanis

Suratman Suratman,1,2 Kirstin E Ross,1 Kateryna Babina,1 John William Edwards1

1Health and Environment Group, School of the Environment, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA, Australia; 2School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Jenderal Soedirman University, Kampus Karangwangkal, Purwokerto, Indonesia

Background: Farmworkers are at risk of exposure to organophosphate pesticides (OPs). Improvements of knowledge and perceptions about organophosphate (OP) exposure may be of benefit for the reduction in OP exposure.
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of an educational intervention to improve knowledge and perceptions for reducing OP exposure among Indonesian and South Australian (SA) migrant farmworkers.
Methods: This was a quasi-experimental study. The educational intervention used a method of group communication for 30 Indonesian farmworkers and individual communication for seven SA migrant farmworkers. Knowledge and perceptions about OP exposure were measured pre-intervention and 3 months after the intervention.
Results: Unadjusted intervention effects at follow-up showed statistically significantly improved scores of knowledge (both adverse effects of OPs and self-protection from OP exposure), perceived susceptibility, and perceived barriers among Indonesian farmworkers compared with SA migrant farmworkers. Furthermore, these four significant variables in the unadjusted model and the two other variables (perceived severity and perceived benefits) were statistically significant after being adjusted for the level of education and years working as a farmworker. In contrast, knowledge about adverse effects of OPs was the only variable that was statistically significantly improved among SA migrant farmworkers. The results of this study suggests educational interventions using a method of group communication could be more effective than using individual intervention.
Conclusion: These improvements provide starting points to change health behavior of farmworkers, particularly to reduce OP exposure, both at the workplace and at home.

Keywords: group communication, individual communication, organophosphate pesticide exposure, Indonesian farmworkers, South Australian migrant farmworkers

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