Background/Purpose: A person's perception of their health and how it impacts participation in chosen occupations may shape their perceptions of quality of life (QoL). Healthcare providers may make recommendations relating to participation in occupations with the intention of promoting health or preventing decline. Therefore, it is important for healthcare providers to understand the lifestyle, beliefs, and values of the people they treat. The purpose of this study is to collect data from farmers and ranchers who have conditions of aging, chronic health issues, or disabilities regarding their perceived QoL. The data will be used to describe the phenomenological perceptions of health and quality of life among our sample of farmers and ranchers to better inform the healthcare providers who serve them. Methods: Thirteen farmers and ranchers who have conditions of aging, chronic health issues, or disabilities participated in semi-structured qualitative interviews regarding their perceptions of quality of life in the context of agriculture. Participants were discovered through contacts in agricultural organizations. Each interview was recorded, transcribed, coded, and analyzed using an inductive and deductive (integrated) thematic approach. Several main themes were identified by each student investigator and a consensus was reached among them. Results: Analysis of the thirteen interviews resulted in seven reoccurring themes. The themes are: farmers and ranchers perceive themselves as healthy individuals; health is improved by participation in farming and ranching; independence supports quality of life; farmers and ranchers acknowledge that adaptation is necessary to be successful; farmers and ranchers value their relationship with nature; the farm and ranch are ideal environments for raising a family; and being a farmer or rancher is more than an occupation, it is also an identity. Conclusion: The themes discovered in this research hold important implications for practice with this population.
Peel, Myra; Geneva Nolan; and Carla Wilhite. "A Phenomenological Study of Farmers or Ranchers' Quality of Life Perceptions Who Have Conditions of Aging, Chronic Health Issues, or Disability'." (2015). https://digitalrepository.unm.edu/ot/2