In the initial research study, 553 farmers attended plays
and 317 farmers (the comparison group) received
educational packets in the mail. The plays and the
education packets covered the same topics. Researchers
called participants in both groups 2 weeks and 2 months
later to learn what health/safety changes these farmers
had made in their work.
Researchers reported the following results:
- After two weeks, 57% of FDT participants took health-
and safety-related actions on the farm, compared to 40%
of the comparison group.
- After two months, 60% of FDT participants took
health- and safety-related actions on the farm, compared
to 52% of the comparison group.
- After two weeks, 24% of FDT participants shared their
new knowledge with people who hadn't attended the plays.
- After two months, 38% of FDT
participants shared their new knowledge with people who
hadn't attended the plays.
According to a
2019 NIOSH Science Blog post, there were waiting
lists of farmers wanting to attend FDT. Participants said
they appreciated how topics were presented in a
non-threatening way, and one farmer reported going home
and making changes that night. A Cooperative Extension
agent said FDT has received more positive feedback than
any other program they had done.
For more information:
McCallum, D.M., Reed, D.B., Claunch, D.T., Davis, C.M., &
Conaway, M.B. (2022). Farm Dinner Theater: Testing an
Innovative Health and Safety Intervention among Older
Farmers and Their Families. Journal of Rural Health,
38(2), 433-441. Article
Reed, D.B., McCallum, D., & Claunch, D.T. (2021).
Changing Health Practices Through Research to Practice
Collaboration: The Farm Dinner Theater Experience.
Health Promotion Practice, 22(1), 122S-130S.
Reed, D.B. & Claunch, D.T. (2017). Moving Social Work
Norms via Theater for Senior Farmers. Journal of
Safety Research, 60, 17-20. Article