Perceptions of Occupational Cancer Risk and Prevention Among Dominican Republic Firefighters: A Qualitative Study


Objectives: Characterize occupational cancer risk perceptions and attitudes toward cancer prevention practices among firefighters in the Dominican Republic.

Methods: Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted in June 2019 among firefighters from three fire departments. Themes were inductively created using a qualitative descriptive approach.

Results: Thirty-seven firefighters were interviewed with a group mean age of 36.2 ± 10.3 years, of which 97.3% were male, and 37.1% worked at least 10 years. Six themes emerged: 1) availability of personal protective equipment (PPE); 2) toxic exposure during fire suppression; 3) work-related stress; 4) lack of workplace health promotion activities; 5) Dominican culture impacts medical checkups; and 6) expensive medical copays limits healthcare access. Conclusion: Dominican firefighters are willing to adopt cancer prevention practices, however organizational barriers (ie, PPE availability, cultural barriers, and health promotion practices) limit engagement.

Authors: Paola Louzado-Feliciano, Katerina M Santiago, Laura Paule, Geovanny Rivera, Natasha Schaefer Solle, Marija Miric, Eddy Perez-Then, Alberto J Caban-Martinez
; Full Source: Journal of occupational and environmental medicine 2022 Mar 1;64(3):e131-e135. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002466.