Firefighter Occupational Cancer Risk Adjustment
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Recent research has shown that firefighters are at a higher risk for cancer diagnosis than the general population, potentially due to increased carcinogen exposure while performing their job duties. Experts have offered six hazard adjustments that may assist in reducing the level of exposure to these carcinogens. This study was conducted in order to better understand what motivates or deters firefighters from engaging in these hazard adjustments. The sample was firefighters that had attended or were otherwise associated with the Alabama Fire College. Sample size was 358 individuals. Results show that firefighters have a high perception of their occupational cancer risk. Also, that response efficacy, self-efficacy, and cost of engaging in the behavior were much more reliable predictors of hazard adjustment intentions as well as actually completing the hazard adjustment than risk perception, hazard salience, and hazard exposure. A new concept of peer perception was used in this study, which has previously not been mentioned in Protective Motivation Theory studies, which was also found to affect firefighter's intention and actual completion of hazard adjustment. The findings of this study will assist fire service leaders in adapting both education programs and policies and procedures to better protect firefighters from occupational cancer.
- OSU Theses