Background/Purpose: A growing number of people are using the Internet to access health information, including rural and agricultural community members. Reliable health information content promotes self-management of health and self-advocacy. Many farmers in the United States now have computers and Internet access, with those having online access expanding annually. Agricultural producers and their families are more likely to experience occupational injury and fatality, compared to most other work sectors in the country, as well as being susceptible to the same major health issues as their non-rural counterparts including skin cancer, arthritis, diabetes, and depression. Farming families also need health information content tailored to their unique work and living contexts. Agriculture for Life is a product of online health promotion for agricultural producers. To create a foundation upon which to ground the product, the authors pursued a literature review for evidence of best practices in eHealth promotion. Specific literature searched included web design elements, adult learning theory used for online health promotion, and whether eHealth is effective in improving health, quality of life, making behavior changes, or increasing participation level in valued activities. Methods: The literature review utilized databases of Pub Med, CINAHL, ERIC, and Psych Info. Some of the terms used interchangeably for electronic or online intervention were: eHealth, EHealth, e-Health, electronic health, online health promotion, and Internet health promotion. Thirty articles and one book were identified to contribute to the literature review. Exclusion criteria were articles dealing with eHealth informatics. Results: Evidence supports eHealth as means for improving perceptions of health or actual health outcomes by users. The Integrated Change Model (I-Change) is selected as the learning theory to guide Agriculture for Life because it addresses human motivation, determination, self-efficacy, intention, ability factors, and barriers to change in a comprehensive manner. Limitations to the literature review as a tool in planning Agriculture for Life includes the limited number of research articles available on the topic of eHealth/online health promotion. Conclusion: Agriculture for Life strives to provide targeted information which enables individuals to make informed choices about remaining in agricultural occupations across the lifespan.
Chavez, Cynthia; Celicia Perez; and Carla Wilhite. "Agriculture for Life: A Guide for Health Promotion and Participation for Farmers with Health Challenges." (2015). http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ot/13