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The Journal of Primary Prevention

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 39–49 | Cite as

Lay-Based Morbidity Profiles of Sugar Cane Workers: Testing a New Method Using Free Lists

  • Víctor H. Coronel-Sánchez
  • Yelitza Álvarez-Pabón
  • Laura Y. Esteban
  • Óscar Vargas-Valero
  • Jhon J. Omaña
  • Alvaro J. IdrovoEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

Epidemiological profiles are key elements in preventive medicine and public health planning activities. There are no standard methods to identify these profiles. We explored the epidemiological profile of sugar cane workers in the municipality of Ginebra (Valle del Cauca, Colombia) using free lists of municipal morbidity data. We administered an instrument to 30 sugar cane workers, 15 health care workers and 15 people from the general community in order to compare the health problems experienced by the community. Sugar cane workers reported their own health problems and health professionals and community members served as informants for health problems in the general community. Respiratory problems were part of the morbidity profile of all groups evaluated, flu was part of the profile of the general community, and other respiratory problems were part of the profile of sugar cane workers and health personnel. Musculoskeletal problems were predominant only for sugar cane workers, and we found differences between the health problems expressed by the community and those reported by health personnel. The free lists method constitutes a quick, efficient, and useful tool to develop an approximation of an epidemiological profile and is easily interpreted, especially when typical and previously described occupational diseases are considered together with diseases associated with occupational groups. Epidemiological profiles based on free lists are useful to identify new opportunities for prevention strategies.

Keywords

Health profile Sugar cane worker Respiratory diseases Occupational health 

Notes

Acknowledgements

Thank you to participants in the study for their collaboration during fieldwork.

Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the Colombian ethical standards and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramangaColombia
  2. 2.Student Researchers Society of the Universidad Industrial de Santander (SEIMED)BucaramangaColombia
  3. 3.Public Health Department, School of MedicineUniversidad Industrial de SantanderBucaramangaColombia

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