Perceptions of health and cancer risk among newly recruited firefighters in South Florida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Despite hazardous exposures to cancer-causing agents in the line of duty, the main health and safety concerns of active firefighters have yet to be studied. We compare the perceptions of health and cancer risks between rookie and experienced firefighters. Methods: Focus groups were used to investigate potential risk of job exposures, and broad-based concerns regarding work and health. An 18-item demographic survey was also administered. Five focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 57 firefighters. Results: Our findings indicate that both rookie and experienced firefighters have a “high risk, high reward” mindset and identify injury, chronic disease, and stress as main health concerns. Experienced firefighters reported a shift in firefighter culture related to health. Conclusion: The perception of health and cancer risk of rookie and experienced firefighters differ in the prioritization of their concerns, however both groups equally report occupational cancer risk as their main health concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-84
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume61
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Fingerprint

Firefighters
Health
Neoplasms
Focus Groups
Reward
Chronic Disease
Demography
Safety
Wounds and Injuries

Keywords

  • cancer
  • firefighters
  • occupational health
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

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title = "Perceptions of health and cancer risk among newly recruited firefighters in South Florida",
abstract = "Purpose: Despite hazardous exposures to cancer-causing agents in the line of duty, the main health and safety concerns of active firefighters have yet to be studied. We compare the perceptions of health and cancer risks between rookie and experienced firefighters. Methods: Focus groups were used to investigate potential risk of job exposures, and broad-based concerns regarding work and health. An 18-item demographic survey was also administered. Five focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 57 firefighters. Results: Our findings indicate that both rookie and experienced firefighters have a “high risk, high reward” mindset and identify injury, chronic disease, and stress as main health concerns. Experienced firefighters reported a shift in firefighter culture related to health. Conclusion: The perception of health and cancer risk of rookie and experienced firefighters differ in the prioritization of their concerns, however both groups equally report occupational cancer risk as their main health concern.",
keywords = "cancer, firefighters, occupational health, qualitative research",
author = "Natasha Solle and Caban-Martinez, {Alberto J} and Levy, {Rachel A.} and Young, {Bre Ann} and Lee, {David J} and Harrison, {Tyler R} and Erin Kobetz",
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AU - Solle, Natasha

AU - Caban-Martinez, Alberto J

AU - Levy, Rachel A.

AU - Young, Bre Ann

AU - Lee, David J

AU - Harrison, Tyler R

AU - Kobetz, Erin

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N2 - Purpose: Despite hazardous exposures to cancer-causing agents in the line of duty, the main health and safety concerns of active firefighters have yet to be studied. We compare the perceptions of health and cancer risks between rookie and experienced firefighters. Methods: Focus groups were used to investigate potential risk of job exposures, and broad-based concerns regarding work and health. An 18-item demographic survey was also administered. Five focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 57 firefighters. Results: Our findings indicate that both rookie and experienced firefighters have a “high risk, high reward” mindset and identify injury, chronic disease, and stress as main health concerns. Experienced firefighters reported a shift in firefighter culture related to health. Conclusion: The perception of health and cancer risk of rookie and experienced firefighters differ in the prioritization of their concerns, however both groups equally report occupational cancer risk as their main health concern.

AB - Purpose: Despite hazardous exposures to cancer-causing agents in the line of duty, the main health and safety concerns of active firefighters have yet to be studied. We compare the perceptions of health and cancer risks between rookie and experienced firefighters. Methods: Focus groups were used to investigate potential risk of job exposures, and broad-based concerns regarding work and health. An 18-item demographic survey was also administered. Five focus group sessions were conducted with a total of 57 firefighters. Results: Our findings indicate that both rookie and experienced firefighters have a “high risk, high reward” mindset and identify injury, chronic disease, and stress as main health concerns. Experienced firefighters reported a shift in firefighter culture related to health. Conclusion: The perception of health and cancer risk of rookie and experienced firefighters differ in the prioritization of their concerns, however both groups equally report occupational cancer risk as their main health concern.

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