The Lay Summary

Agricultural research rarely happens by a barn

The Canadian government is trying to make research more accessible and understandable by the general public.  To do accomplish this, researchers are often asked to come up with ‘lay’ summaries of their research: descriptions with out jargon and technical abbreviations and such.  The SHRF grant I was awarded has become active now, and they are looking to promote the research they are funding via a website, pro photos, and press releases.  The text below was developed by the agency to describe the research.  I can understand it – can everyone else?

 

Title: Risk factors for back disorders in Saskatchewan farmers: Exposure assessment for epidemiological studies

Overview: Lower back disorders are an important public health issue among farmers in many regions of Canada involved in many types of farming. In Saskatchewan, these issues have not been thoroughly investigated, even though rural farmers play a critical role in Saskatchewan’s economy and it is believed that lower back disorders are increasing. Dr. Catherine Trask is studying the occupational determinants of health such as vehicle vibration, heavy lifting, and awkward postures as they relate to the development and progression of lower back disorders.

Dr. Trask is studying these risk factors to understand how they contribute to lower back disorders in Saskatchewan farmers. She is also investigating the impact of the pain and disability that lower back disorders have on farmers, as well as examining the preventative measures and solutions that farmers implement to prevent lower back pain. Her team of researchers is travelling to 30 Saskatchewan farms to measure equipment vibration and observe lifting practices and posture during the farmers’ regular workdays. Farmers are being interviewed about any pain or disability, as well as safety measures they have implemented at their farm, such as modified tools or equipment.

The results of this study will allow for more cost-effective studies of these determinants in the future. And by identifying safety measures, Dr. Trask believes her study will also allow future research evaluating the effectiveness of prevention.

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Snapshot: Dr. Catherine Trask is studying the occupational determinants of health such as vibration, heavy lifting and awkward postures as they relate to the development and progression of lower back disorders in farmers. She is also investigating the impact of the pain and disability and examining preventative measures and solutions. Dr. Trask believes her results will allow for more cost-effective studies of these determinants in the future.

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Caption: Dr. Catherine Trask is studying the occupational determinants of health as they relate to lower back disorders in farmers.

 

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