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Cancer Control Research

Sorensen, Glorian C.


DESCRIPTION (Adapted from the Applicant's Abstract): This study responds to an urgent need for research to understand risk perceptions influencing health behavior change among blue-collar workers and to develop efficacious interventions for this group. Concern about occupational exposures is likely to influence the risk perceptions of many blue collar workers, given their potentially high levels of exposures on the job. Previous work has shown that workers exposed to job risks are most receptive to health promotion programs that incorporate occupational health concerns, rather than exclusively focusing on individual lifestyles. The intervention tested in the proposed study targets tobacco use, consumption of fruits and vegetables, and awareness of job risks. This study specifically targets mobile blue collar workers--represented here by construction laborers--for whom cancer prevention strategies are especially lacking. The specific aims of this study are to: (1) Assess the perceptions of job and behavioral risks of construction laborers through a survey of a national random sample of members of the Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA). (2) Identify mediating mechanisms and modifying conditions associated with risk perceptions and likely to influence tobacco use and consumption of fruits and vegetables among mobile blue-collar workers. (3) Develop and estimate the efficacy of an integrated cancer prevention intervention targeting work practices and behavioral risks of unionized mobile blue collar workers in increasing smoking cessation and consumption of fruits and vegetables. This study is a partnership between the DFCI and the Laborers' Health and Safety Fund of North America. This partnership provides unique access to a large population of mobile blue-collar workers, comprised of the 750,000 members of LIUNA. LIUNA members have generally low literacy skills, low levels of education, and high levels of behavioral risks for cancer. Forty-four percent of LIUNA members are smokers. This is also an ethnically diverse population, and includes at least 50% minority populations. This study is a Phase II methods development study designed to provide the basis for further research on cancer prevention interventions in collaboration with unions.

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