Sun Protection Behavior among Hispanic Farmworkers

Skin cancer rates among Hispanic farmworkers are relatively unknown and studies of their sun protection behavior are limited. This descriptive pilot study thus aims to (1) Evaluate sun protection attitudes, knowledge and behaviors of Hispanic migrant and seasonal farmworkers. (2) Use data and information from Aim 1 to develop and provide a culturally appropriate educational sun safety component both in English and Spanish to inform and educate Hispanic farm workers of the dangers of excessive UVR sun exposure.

The initial phase of this project will consist of working with local collaborators to survey farmworkers' to obtain demographic info (age, gender, educational attainment, skin type, country of origin, migration status), as well as data on worker's knowledge, attitude, perception regarding sun safety; number of sunburns; family history of skin cancer; allergic or other chronic conditions related to skin; use of wide-brim hats, sunscreen/sunblock, long-sleeved apparel.

The investigators plan to measure the sun safety perceptions and behaviors of farm workers in two eastern NC counties (Halifax and Greene Counties, n = 125). They further plan to provide a crude estimate of (pre)cancerous skin conditions among outdoor farm workers; document (by using an electronic, time stamped, UVR dosimeter wristwatch) the extent and duration of UVR exposure among 4 subjects for approximately 8 weeks; and develop a culturally appropriate educational intervention or educational materials based on pilot findings to reduce UVR exposure among Latino farmworkers.

Principal Investigator: Greg Kearney, DrPH, MPH. Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health, Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University, Department of Public Health. 1709 W. 6th Street, MS 660; Greenville, NC 27834. Telephone: 252-744-4039; Fax: (252) 744-4008. kearneyg@ecu.edu