Pacific Northwest Health Professionals Survey on Pesticides and Children

J Agromedicine. 2006;11(3-4):113-20. doi: 10.1300/J096v11n03_12.


The Pacific Northwest includes several regions of pesticide-intensive agriculture, and the health risks of pesticides to children have become a focus of scientific inquiry and public health concern. To prepare a curriculum for regional health care providers on pesticides and child health, we sought to review the experience, attitudes and needs in this subject from the intended target audience. Forty-nine key informants serving high volumes of farmworkers and farm families in agricultural areas of the region were identified: 23 physicians, nine physician assistants, five nurse practitioners, and 12 community health workers completed telephone surveys (98% response rate). These informants serve a high-risk group of children, yet only 49% had any pesticide related health training and only 22% had received child specific information. Regardless of previous training, 55% affirmed the statement, "I use pesticide information in my profession or practice." However, 61% were not comfortable responding to patient/client questions based on their training, background, and experience. Ninety-two percent of the informants endorsed that more pesticide information would be useful in their work, particularly information specific to child health. Format preferences for future training varied. Physicians most frequently mentioned Web-based training materials while mid-level clinicians' most highly requested format was written summaries. The option of a conference/workshop was particularly popular among community health workers. This key informant survey indicates an important pesticide training gap among health care workers serving children at high risk of pesticide exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Welfare*
  • Community Health Workers / education
  • Community Health Workers / psychology
  • Environmental Health / education*
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Pesticides / adverse effects*
  • Physician Assistants / education
  • Physician Assistants / psychology
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Public Health*


  • Pesticides