Addressing agricultural issues in health care education: An occupational therapy curriculum program description

Stacy Smallfield, Angela J. Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Context: Medical and allied health professionals who work in agricultural states frequently address the needs of clients who live and work in rural and frontier environments. The primary occupations of those living in rural areas include farming, ranching, or other agriculture-related work. Farming is consistently ranked as one of the most high-risk occupations for work-related injuries and accidents; therefore, it is critical that health education programs include content to prepare future medical and health professionals to work with this population. Purpose and Description: This paper describes the rural issues component of the occupational therapy curriculum at The University of South Dakota. This rural issues module is designed to provide occupational therapists with training about the physical, temporal, and sociocultural aspects of production agriculture and the impact these have on the health and well-being of the agricultural population. It also addresses the occupational therapy implications for farmers and ranchers who have disabilities. Student assessments of the course content have been above average. Conclusion: Training in agricultural health enables our occupational therapy students to be well prepared for work in the rural and frontier areas of South Dakota and other rural locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-374
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rural Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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