Qualitative Assessment of Barriers and Ideal Wellness Programming among Rural Firefighters

Bridget F. Melton, Greg Ryan, Lauren Bigham, Jarrod Pedigo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine and assess the perceived physical and psychosocial barriers to, and the constitution of, ideal health and wellness programming among rural firefighters. Methods: Open-ended, semi-structured interviews were conducted and recorded on 40 rural, structural firefighters. Responses to each question were qualitatively analyzed to determine themes. Results: Several themes emerged in regards to the physical and psychosocial stressors of the profession. Three themes emerged relating to the self-perceived barriers to overall health and wellness. There was also agreement in the components of an "ideal" workplace health and wellness program to help overcome perceived barriers. Conclusions: The themes that emerged from the interviews with this population are similar to firefighters who work in a more urban area. This indicates that the stressors and barriers firefighters face may be occupation, and not location, driven.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E266-E271
JournalJournal of occupational and environmental medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • firefighters
  • first responder
  • needs assessment
  • wellness programming

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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