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Leslie Hussey


Migrant and seasonal farmworkers (MSFWs) are the unhealthiest workers in the United States and experience barriers to preventive healthcare. While faced with numerous health risks, many Hispanic MSFWs may not seek preventive health services or have access to them when they need them. The purpose of this study, guided by the rural nursing theory, was to understand the beliefs/health seeking behaviors of MSFWs and how they described usage of preventive health services. Fourteen Hispanic farmworkers volunteered to do telephone or in person interviews. The codes and categories were reviewed to identify patterns and make connections between the data using Saldana’s cycle coding. Four main themes were revealed: definition of health, health beliefs, health behaviors, and usage of preventive health. Definition of health is a collection of phrases that farmworkers used to define what health meant to them individually. Health beliefs are phrase(s) that define how they saw the importance of health in their everyday life. Health behaviors are the activities they used to keep themselves healthy. Usage of preventive health services are explanatory phrases that described their health care choices and experiences. Nurses and other health care professionals can use the findings of this study to tailor healthcare strategies to reflect farmworker healthcare beliefs. Additional studies are needed in U.S. rural locations to gather more information about MSFW's healthcare needs and beliefs on which to form evidence-based interventions. Positive social change may occur when farmworkers have routine preventive care improving patient-provider relationships, decreasing healthcare costs, and enhancing patient outcomes.