Agricultural Disability Awareness and Risk Education (AgDARE)

Led by Deborah B. Reed, PhD, RN, C, MSPH and the late Pamela S. Kidd, PhD, FAAN, this four-year intervention developed, implemented, and evaluated a novel farm injury prevention program for high school agriculture students emphasizing disability awareness and utilizing both narrative and physical simulation exercises. Recognizing that the emotional and cognitive development of adolescents often limits their responsiveness to information on mortality risk, the AgDARE curriculum uses the concept of disability to teach farm safety. Studies suggest that teens are less likely to react to a threat of injury or death but are more inclined to avoid disability, disfigurement, and a change in body image. Reaching 1,138 students in three states (Kentucky, Iowa, and Mississippi), the AgDARE project aimed to

AgDARE was implemented in two phases over a 4-year period. Phase I consisted of instrument and intervention development. The intervention consisted of four reality-based, latent-image (narrative) simulation exercises that focused on prevention of amputations, spinal cord injuries, noise-induced hearing loss, and hypersensitivity pneumonitis or "Farmer’s lung." Four simulated work exercises (physical simulations) that focused on the same themes were also developed and tested. Simulation topics were derived from the existing literature, case-based data from AgrAbility, and focus groups held with agriculture teachers and students. Phase II consisted of intervention dissemination and evaluation. A quasi-experimental cross-over design was used to test the intervention in Phase II. One year after the intervention, farm visits were made to 29 students who completed the AgDARE intervention and currently did farm work to assess their work behavior. Of the 29 students randomly sampled who completed AgDARE and received farm visits one year later, 86% had made safety related changes in their farm work. Eighty-seven percent of these changes related directly to injury prevention strategies taught through AgDARE.

For more details please visit the National Agricultural Safety Database