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Disabling farm injuries : wives' experiences



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A disabling farm injury affects both the farmer and the farmer’s spouse. In Canada, injuries rank third as a leading cause of death and second as a leading cause of medical spending. There have been studies of agriculture-related injury and death, including research on the prevalence, incidence, and causes of farm injuries. There is a lack of empirical data on the impact of agricultural injuries on farm families. This qualitative study explored the lived experiences of wives of Saskatchewan farmers who experienced a disabling farm injury and returned to farming. Potential study participants were contacted and invited to participate in the study with the assistance of the extension division of the Institute of Agriculture, Rural, and Environmental Health (I•ARE•H) and the Farmers with Disabilities Program of the Saskatchewan Abilities Council of Saskatoon. Between October 2002 and October 2004 seven Saskatchewan farm women volunteered to participate and were interviewed. Participants who contacted the researcher to indicate their interest in the study were sent cameras and information inviting them to take photographs depicting their lives since the occurrence of the disabling farm injury. They were contacted later to set up the interviews. The grounded theory method of constant comparison was used for the thematic analysis of the interviews. Seven common themes emerged from the analysis: “My world just crashed,” “Superwoman,” “Something’s got to give,” “Survival tactics,” “Definitely impacted them,” “Support,” and “Advice for others.” The experiences of the seven Saskatchewan farm women have been heard. Their successes and the hardships they experienced with the injury event and the farmer’s return to farming have been recorded. Implications for health practice, the development of an Internet based support program, education of health care providers on the needs of people who have experienced a disabling farm injury, and future research are considered.



rural health, phenomenological, rehabilitation



Master of Nursing (M.N.)


College of Nursing


College of Nursing


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