Perceptions of Occupational Cancer Risk and Prevention among Dominican Republic Firefighters: A Qualitative Study

Paola Louzado-Feliciano, Katerina M. Santiago, Laura Paule, Geovanny Rivera, Natasha Schaefer Solle, Marija Miric, Eddy Perez-Then, Alberto J. Caban-Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives:Characterize occupational cancer risk perceptions and attitudes toward cancer prevention practices among firefighters in the Dominican Republic.Methods:Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted in June 2019 among firefighters from three fire departments. Themes were inductively created using a qualitative descriptive approach.Results:Thirty-seven firefighters were interviewed with a group mean age of 36.2 ± 10.3 years, of which 97.3% were male, and 37.1% worked at least 10 years. Six themes emerged: 1) availability of personal protective equipment (PPE); 2) toxic exposure during fire suppression; 3) work-related stress; 4) lack of workplace health promotion activities; 5) Dominican culture impacts medical checkups; and 6) expensive medical copays limits healthcare access.Conclusion:Dominican firefighters are willing to adopt cancer prevention practices, however organizational barriers (ie, PPE availability, cultural barriers, and health promotion practices) limit engagement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E131-E135
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cancer
  • Cancer prevention
  • Caribbean
  • Fire fighter
  • Fire service
  • First responders
  • Latino

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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