Genetic Knowledge and Communication Among Mexican Farmworkers and Non-farmworkers in North Carolina

Abstract

It is important to understand genetics within the context of health. This paper assesses (a) genetic knowledge among Mexican-born farmworker and non-farmworker adults; (b) their interpersonal and device sources of genetic knowledge; and (c) the association between their genetic knowledge and the sources of this genetic knowledge.

Interviews were conducted with Mexican-born farmworkers (100) and non-farmworkers (100) in North Carolina. Participants answered 15 questions to assess genetic knowledge, and sources from which they had seen or heard about genes and genetics.

Results show limited knowledge of genetics, with farmworkers and non-farmworkers providing a similar level of correct responses (6.6 versus 7.3), but with farmworkers providing more incorrect responses (4.0 versus 2.7). Important sources of genetic information for farmworkers were promotoras (47%), compared to teachers (49%) for non-farmworkers.

This study demonstrates a need for increased dissemination of genetic information to Mexican-origin farmworkers and non-farmworkers.

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Acknowledgements

This research was supported by grant R01-ES008739 from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

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Correspondence to Dana C. Mora.

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Mora, D.C., Sandberg, J.C., Howard, T.D. et al. Genetic Knowledge and Communication Among Mexican Farmworkers and Non-farmworkers in North Carolina. J Immigrant Minority Health (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10903-020-01136-w

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Keywords

  • Genetics
  • Health literacy
  • Health communication
  • Farmworkers
  • Community-based participatory research