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Interventions Addressing Injury among Agricultural Workers: A Systematic Review

Volkmer, Katrin, Lucas Molitor, Whitney
Journal of agromedicine 2019 v.24 no.1 pp. 26-34
databases, education, farm labor, farms, industry, labor statistics, musculoskeletal system, occupational therapy, screening, systematic review, United States
Agriculture is consistently rated as one of the most dangerous industries by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. As such, there is a demonstrable need for the prevention and management of injuries among agricultural workers. It is critical that injuries are managed in order to allow individuals the means to continue participating in meaningful and necessary tasks on the farm or ranch. The purpose of this systematic review was to determine whether interventions within the scope of occupational therapy were effective in addressing injury prevention and management among agricultural workers in order to determine what role occupational therapists currently serve among this population. A systematic review was completed of scientific, peer-reviewed literature published between January 2012 and January 2018. Databases included MEDLINE, PsychINFO, OTSeeker, OTSearch, CINAHL, PubMed, and the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. A total of 479 articles were initially identified. Of these, 22 were selected for screening, and five were ultimately included in this review. Themes identified included education, musculoskeletal interventions, and environmental adaptations. Moderate evidence exists for the efficacy of interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice for prevention and management of injury for agricultural workers. Further research including randomization and intervention specific studies is required to improve the level of evidence.