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Effect of education and health locus of control on safe use of pesticides: a cross sectional random study

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7 pages
In Egypt, many pesticides are used to control pests in agricultural farms. Our study aimed to investigate knowledge and behaviors of farmers related to pesticide use and their relation to educational level and health locus of control. Health locus of control is the degree to which individuals believe that their health is controlled by internal or external factors. Methods A cross-sectional randomized approach was used to collect data from 335 farmers in Mahmoudiya region, Egypt using an interview questionnaire. Results were analyzed using Pearson Chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, Student t -test and ANOVA. Results The average age of farmers was 34 years and 61% of them didn't receive school education. School education was related to higher levels of knowledge and behaviors. Farmers who received school education had more knowledge about the negative effects of pesticides on health and routes of contamination with pesticides. They also had higher scores on reading labels of pesticides containers and taking precautions after coming in contact with pesticides. Regarding health locus of control, higher internal beliefs were significantly related to higher knowledge and behaviors scores, while there was no significant relation between chance and powerful others beliefs with knowledge or behaviors. Conclusion In the present study, higher level of education and lower level of internal beliefs were related to better knowledge and safer use of pesticides among Egyptian farmers. We recommend that strategies for raising internal beliefs must be included in health education programs that aim to ameliorate pesticides use among farmers.
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Gaber and AbdelLatifJournal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology2012,7:3 http://www.occupmed.com/content/7/1/3
R E S E A R C H
Effect of education and safe use of pesticides: a study 1* 2 Sherine Gaber and Soha Hassan AbdelLatif
health locus of cross sectional
Open Access
control on random
Abstract Background:In Egypt, many pesticides are used to control pests in agricultural farms. Our study aimed to investigate knowledge and behaviors of farmers related to pesticide use and their relation to educational level and health locus of control. Health locus of control is the degree to which individuals believe that their health is controlled by internal or external factors. Methods:A crosssectional randomized approach was used to collect data from 335 farmers in Mahmoudiya region, Egypt using an interview questionnaire. Results were analyzed using Pearson Chisquare test, Fishers exact test, Studentttest and ANOVA. Results:The average age of farmers was 34 years and 61% of them didnt receive school education. School education was related to higher levels of knowledge and behaviors. Farmers who received school education had more knowledge about the negative effects of pesticides on health and routes of contamination with pesticides. They also had higher scores on reading labels of pesticides containers and taking precautions after coming in contact with pesticides. Regarding health locus of control, higher internal beliefs were significantly related to higher knowledge and behaviors scores, while there was no significant relation between chance and powerful others beliefs with knowledge or behaviors. Conclusion:In the present study, higher level of education and lower level of internal beliefs were related to better knowledge and safer use of pesticides among Egyptian farmers. We recommend that strategies for raising internal beliefs must be included in health education programs that aim to ameliorate pesticides use among farmers. Keywords:Pesticide use, Knowledge, Behavior, Health locus of control, Egypt
Background In Egypt, several pesticides including organophosphorus, carbamate, pyrethroid insecticides, fungicides, and herbi cides are commonly used to increase agricultural pro ductivity [1]. Pesticides have serious drawbacks on human health as they affect the immune system, the endocrine system and the nervous system [2]. Studies conducted in Egypt found that organophophorus and carbamate insecticides increase the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma in farmers having HCV and
* Correspondence: sherine_g@yahoo.com 1 Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, High Institute of Public Health, Alexandria University, Alexandria, Egypt Full list of author information is available at the end of the article
HBV infection [3]. Lack of following safety measures among Egyptian farmers has many reasons: illiteracy, unavailable protective devices, low awareness about the danger of pesticide contamination and the neglect of legislation regulating pesticide use [4,5]. Farmersknowledge and perception about pesticide risks play an important role in determining the use of pesticides protection devices (PPD) [6]. Education level has an important role in increasing knowledge about pesticidesrisks [7,8]. However, knowledge is not suffi cient if farmers have low confidence in their ability to apply safety measures related to pesticides use [9]. Health locus of control, which is the degree to which individuals believe that their health is controlled by
© 2012 Gaber and AbdelLatif; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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