Delivery of health services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers

Annu Rev Public Health. 2007;28:345-63. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.27.021405.102106.


Farmworkers are low-paid, uninsured employees in an extremely hazardous industry, and they provide an essential service for U.S. society. This review evaluates the delivery of health services to farmworkers. It describes the farmworker population in the United States, noting characteristics (e.g., migratory and immigration status) that limit their access to and utilization of health services. It describes the health services needs of this population, including occupational health, mental health, oral health, and chronic disease treatment. Cultural, structural, legal, financial, and geographic barriers to health services utilization are described. Existing research on health services utilization among farmworkers is discussed. Programs that have been developed to address the barriers to health services utilization among farmworkers are reviewed. Finally, research needed to improve knowledge of farmworker health services utilization is suggested. These research needs include formal evaluations of existing programs and basic research to characterize the health services utilization patterns of farmworkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture*
  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health Services
  • Seasons
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • United States
  • Workforce