A Comparative Study of the Quality of Life, Depression, Anxiety and Stress in Farmers Exposed to Organophosphate Pesticides with those in a Control Group


1 Department of Biology, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Semnan, Iran

2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Science, Tehran, Iran

4 Department of Biology, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


The aim of this study was to compare the quality of life, depression, anxiety and stress in farmers exposed to organophosphate pesticides with those in a control group. This cross-sectional study was conducted on 67 farmers of Gheinarje village in Arak, central Iran in 2012. The case group included 35 farmers exposed to organophosphate pesticides, the control group consisted of 32 subjects who had no contact with organophosphate pesticides and were matched with the case group in terms of age, gender, and education.The assessment of the quality of life was done according to the scores obtained in SF-36 questionnaire. To assess the level of depression, anxiety and stress the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS)-42 was used. A significant difference was found between the two groups in terms of mental health and quality of life in such a way that the mental health and life quality of the farmers exposed to organophosphate pesticides were significantly lower than those of the control group were (P<0.05). According to the Pearson correlation analysis there was a significant positive relationship between job history and depression as well as stress (P<0.05). Chronic exposure to organophosphate pesticides can affect the psychological aspects of farmers' lives, including the quality of life, depression, anxiety and stress and may endanger their mental health. Biologic drug development and promotion of the use of protective equipment by farmers are the secure solutions to get rid of the current problems resulted from using chemical pesticides.


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