Author: Emilee Drerup
Institution Affiliation: The Ohio State University
Health Behavior Resources Available to Farmers in Rural Ohio Abstract Objective Public health officials have recognized the need to address rural health disparities. This study evaluated health behavior-related programs, resources, and services available to farmers and their families in Ohio’s rural communities. Methods This cross-sectional descriptive study surveyed key informants at rural health clinics, critical access hospitals, health departments, Extension offices, migrant clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers about the types of services available to address eight health behaviors. Key informants were invited via email and United States Postal Service to complete the Online or QR code Qualtrics survey of 46-items. After type of services provided were identified, additional information to describe format, barriers to delivery and perceived importance of the service was asked. Results Invited to the study were 75 rural counties: 51 counties were represented in the data by at least one participating organization. Nutrition/healthy eating-related health services were provided most often by participants (95.8%) and sleep services were least often reported (49.5%). The other six health behaviors services (sun/UV exposure, physical activity, mental health, tobacco cessation, alcohol/substance abuse, and opioid abuse) fell in-between. Organizations were most likely to offer health education resources in print or web-based format across all health behaviors except for sleep, where social media promotion was the most common. The largest barrier to providing any type of health service was a lack of personnel. Conclusions Providing health services to farmers and farm families is important for improving their overall health. Documenting available services will assist the rural health community in future collaborative wellness projects.