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Prevention of respiratory diseases in agricultural and related industries

by Doamekpor, Prosper Kwesi

Abstract (Summary)
iii The study employed a descriptive correlational approach to explore perceived beliefs of agricultural workers regarding the use of respiratory protection. Factors that explained the variance in preventive behaviors among the workers were explored as well. Based on the identified respirator use beliefs, educational topics were identified and selected to design a respiratory safety training module for the workers. A criterion-based sampling technique was used to select agricultural workers in the College of Agricultural Sciences at the Pennsylvania State University for the needs assessment phase of the study. Seventy-three usable questionnaires were returned for data analysis. For the program implementation phase, research participants were invited to sign up to attend the respiratory safety program. Fourteen workers participated, including 13 workers who took part in the needs assessment. The results showed that a typical agricultural worker who perceived him or herself to be vulnerable to respiratory disease hazards, and was aware of the consequences (perceived severity) of being affected by the hazard, and had a positive perception about the benefits of using respiratory protection tended to rate the educational topics high on importance and relevance for the respiratory safety program. The worker’s perceived vulnerability to respiratory hazards and perceived benefit to be derived by using respiratory protection tended to influence the mean ratings of all the educational topics that were listed. Also, current beliefs regarding the use of respiratory protection among the agricultural workers were influenced by the type of job performed and this tended to influence behavior towards respirator use. Factors influencing the choice of behavior were identified as: 1) work policy iv stipulating use of respirators; 2) availability of respirators, 3) job types that required the use of respirators/dust masks; and 4) perceived control or self-efficacy belief the worker had over using respiratory protection. These factors explained 64.1 % of the variance in preventive behavior. Two of these factors were negatively related to preventive behavior – perceived availability of respirators and job type requiring respirator usage. Work policy stipulating the use of respiratory protection contributed 42.3% to the parsimonious model. Perceived control belief significantly contributed to the variance in preventive behavior. These results demonstrate the need for agricultural workers at the Pennsylvania State University to acquire the requisite knowledge about the type of respirators available and the kind of protection they offer. It is evident that training in the use of the types of agricultural respirators becomes very essential in addition to acquiring the knowledge of how respirators work to reduce respiratory hazards.
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School:Pennsylvania State University

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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