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Beliefs and behaviours for preventing occupational health problems among the second-hand clothing sellers in southern Thailand

Uraiwan Sirithammaphan


Uraiwan Sirithammaphan


Fiona Cowdell

Kathleen Galvin


The overarching aims of this study were to explore what second hand clothing sellers understand about their occupational health risks and how they might minimise and prevent these risks and secondly to explore if this understanding influences to their preventive health behaviours.

Previous work I noticed that the sellers were exposed to health risks from working processes such as dust from clothes, UV exposure and heavy lifting without using personal protective equipment such as mask, hat and sunglasses, although these health risks can be protected against by cheap materials and preventive health behaviours to deal with the health risks are not complicated. In the light of the problems as outlined earlier, it is necessary to investigate why these workers are exposed to health threats from a working environment without sufficient protection. It is vital to understand the threats by exploring the understandings of the workers of work exposures, their beliefs, and examine how such understandings may have a role in directions for any preventive health behaviours.

Theoretical framework
Health Belief Model (HBM) focusing on health beliefs including preventive health behaviour was adopted as a theoretical framework to guide the assimilation of existing evidence and to frame the qualitative ethnographic study.

Methodology and methods
Ethnographic research methods, underpinned by an interpretative paradigm, were applied to obtain rich, culturally embedded information. Participant observation along with note-taking and photographs as well as ethnographic interviews were contemporaneously conducted over a six months period in Yala province, a district located in the southern border province of Thailand. Ethnographic data analysis based on the principle of HBM theory was utilised to analyse in-depth data from interview transcripts and sets this against a backdrop of detailed observation.

The most significant findings of the present study are as follows:
 Cues to action which produce information and knowledge are the most important component influencing the other components of HBM according to findings from this market context.
 It seems that personal indirect experience is highly impactful for behaviour change and is most important for health promotion strategy for second-hand clothing sellers.
 Perceived barriers (especially discomfort for using personal protective equipment) was the most important component affecting negative working behaviours of second-hand clothing sellers.
 Limitations to access to information and context specific knowledge of second-hand clothing sellers is considered the most influential cause underpinning the occurrence of inadequate health beliefs and observations of negative work behaviour of second-hand clothing sellers.
 While the findings may not be surprising, they do add to further insight about the application of the HBM to this unregulated work context, and furthermore provide indicative directions for informing health promotion strategy that is tailored to the context of the market.

Promotion of knowledge and theoretically informed discussion of beliefs including self-efficacy are considered as indications for health promotion strategy for the sellers.


Uraiwan Sirithammaphan. (2017). Beliefs and behaviours for preventing occupational health problems among the second-hand clothing sellers in southern Thailand. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 26, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Nursing
Public URL
Additional Information School of Health and Social Care, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2017


Thesis (5.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2017 Uraiwan Sirithammaphan. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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