The mental health of farmers.

Rural Mental Health Research, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.
Occupational Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.45). 01/2003; 52(8):471-6. DOI: 10.1093/occmed/52.8.471
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Farmers are subject to a number of unique occupational stressors, many of which have been aggravated in recent years by changes in farming practice and by economic factors. These are probably part of the explanation for the high rates of suicide in farmers and farm workers, which in the UK account for the largest number of suicides in any occupational group. Suicide is usually associated with mental illness, which, in farming communities, appears to be particularly stigmatized and poorly understood. This affects health-seeking behaviour, which is compounded by the geographical isolation and inaccessibility of many services in rural areas. Our current understanding of these issues suggests a number of potentially valuable interventions.

1 Bookmark
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The occupation of farming has been reported to be associated with a high suicide rate, and suicidal ideation is an important risk factor for suicide. The objective of this study was to explore the association between occupational pesticide exposure or poisoning history and suicidal ideation among male farmers in South Korea. Through a nationwide sampling survey, a total of 1958 male farmers were interviewed in 2011 in South Korea. Detailed occupational pesticide exposure and pesticide poisoning information were obtained from face-to-face interviews. Suicidal ideation was defined as whether they had thought of harming themselves or trying to take their own lives over the preceding year. Logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine the effect of pesticide poisoning on suicidal ideation. Among all farmers, 8.7% (n=92) reported suicidal ideation in 2010. After controlling for potential confounders, lifetime hospitalization due to pesticide poisoning showed a 2.48-fold increase in risk (95% CI: 1.26, 4.91). Those with multiple poisonings showed more significant associations with suicidal ideation (OR=2.33 for once, OR=3.02 for more than once). Moderate- or severe-symptom severity of acute pesticide poisoning cases (OR=2.23; 95% CI: 1.21-4.11) also showed increased risks of suicidal ideation than the milder classes did. However, no significant association was identified with cumulative lifetime pesticide application and suicidal ideation. Our findings suggest that risk of suicidal ideation is related to occupational pesticide poisoning among male farmers.
    Environmental Research 11/2013; · 3.24 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: PurposeOlder farmers experience a high rate of suicide, and depression is closely aligned with suicide among agricultural workers. Depressive symptoms may be influenced by work patterns, work satisfaction, stress, and health status. In addition, members of a couple may affect each other's depressive symptoms. The purpose was to determine whether depressive symptoms score is predicted by hours worked on the farm, satisfaction with work, number of health conditions, perceived stress, and demographics in a sample of older farm couples, and to assess the degree of influence on depressive symptoms spouses have on each other. MethodsA total of 494 couples participated in the initial interview for a longitudinal study of farmers aged 50 and above. Data from husbands and wives were used together in a multilevel, dyad-based regression model to determine predictors of depressive symptoms. FindingsMen's depressive symptoms scores were predicted by their own number of health conditions and stress and by their wives’ stress and health conditions. Women's depressive symptoms scores were predicted by their own work satisfaction, stress, and number of health conditions and their husbands’ time spent working on the farm and stress. Conclusions Stress management may be particularly important in older farm couples, since perceived duress of 1 member of the dyad impacts both. Work factors and health conditions also affect depressive symptoms in older rural couples, but these may be less easily modified.
    The Journal of Rural Health 01/2014; 30(1). · 1.44 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exposure to pesticides has been associated with psychiatric problems among farm workers, although there is still controversy as to chemical types, intensity and forms of exposure that represent risk factors for neuropsychological problems. Furthermore, tobacco workers are exposed to dermal absorption of nicotine, although its effect on mental health has not yet been studied.
    NeuroToxicology 05/2014; · 2.65 Impact Factor


1 Download
Available from