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Hispanic Farmworkers Need More Information on Skin Disease

hare shower facilities and often have limited access to washing facilities and to stores for detergents.

"The results suggest that services to diagnose and treat such diseases should be made readily available," he said. The interview study – also conducted during the 2004 season – sought to learn more about workers' beliefs about skin disease. "This information is essential to understanding farmworker health behavior and for improving health care and health education to these workers," said Arcury. The researchers found that few workers mentioned skin cancer as a potential health problem, yet exposure to sunlight is a major risk factor for the disease. The interviews also revealed that a common belief among workers is that each individual's personal susceptibility determines whether they will be affected by a condition.

"Farmworkers do not acknowledge several skin diseases that should be of great concern, including skin cancer," said Arcury. "And personal susceptibility is used to differentiate one's self from others, usually to show superiority."

Arcury said these beliefs need to be challenged in any programs designed to reduce occupational skin disease. "First, the notion that it affects only those who are susceptible needs to be dispelled," he said. "Second, the delayed effects of some risk factors, such as sunlight exposure, need to be stressed"
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TAG: Hispanic Farmworkers Need More Information Skin Disease

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