Beliefs, knowledge, and educational needs of disaster health providers surrounding climate change and health

Sue Anne Bell, Megan Czerwinski, Jennifer Horowitz, Theodore J. Iwashyna, Mona Sarfaty

Abstract


Abstract

Background: Climate change has been called the greatest public health threat of our time. Increasing morbidity and mortality is expected to continue as climate-associated disasters become more prevalent. Disaster health professionals are on the front lines of addressing these health sequalae, making the need to assess their knowledge of climate change and health, and their perceived need for a policy response critically important.

Objective: The purpose of this study is to examine the knowledge, opinions, and educational needs of disaster health providers surrounding climate change and health.

Methods: A web-based questionnaire assessing disaster health professionals’ attitudes and knowledge on the health effects of climate change and associated policy recommendations was administered to a sample of disaster health professionals.

Results: Among the study’s 150 participants, 95% responded affirmatively that climate change exists and is largely caused by humans. Two-thirds (67%) indicated climate change affects their patient’s health and 93% indicated climate change will continue to affect patients in the future. Respondents also believed climate change will impact vulnerable populations such as children under four years old (75%), the elderly (72%) and those living in poverty (71%). Three-quarters (76%) indicated educating patients about climate change and its association with health outcomes should be integrated into health professions education.

Conclusion: Disaster health professionals need access to education on climate-change related health impacts, materials for patients and relevant policy information. This research provides evidence from front-line disaster and emergency health professionals that can inform policy on climate change and health.


Keywords


Climate Change; Health Policy; Health Education; Disaster

Full Text:

PDF

References


REFERENCES

Costello A, Abbas M, Allen A, Ball S, Bell S, Bellamy R, et al. Managing the health effects of climate change. The Lancet. 2009;373(9676):1693-733.

Patz JA, Campbell-Lendrum D, Holloway T, Foley JA. Impact of regional climate change on human health. Nature. 2005;438(7066):310-7.

World Health Organisation. Deaths from climate change 2018 [Available from: http://www.who.int/heli/risks/climate/climatechange/en/.

World Health Organisation. Climate change and health 2018, February 1 [Available from: http://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/climate-change-and-health.

Ahdoot S, Pacheco SE. Global climate change and children's health. Pediatrics. 2015;136(5):e1468-e84.

Anderko L, Schenk E, Huffling K, Chalupka S. Climate change, health, and nursing: a call to action. Summit, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments2016.

Ebi KL, Mills DM, Smith JB, Grambsch A. Climate Change and Human Health Impacts in the United States: An Update on the Results of the U.S. National Assessment. Environmental Health Perspectives. 2006;114(9):1318-24.

McMichael AJ, Woodruff RE, Hales S. Climate change and human health: present and future risks. The Lancet. 2006, March;367(9513):11-7.

Sarfaty M, Kreslake J, Ewart G, Guidotti TL, Thurston GD, Balmes JR, et al. Survey of International Members of the American Thoracic Society on Climate Change and Health. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016;13(10):1808-13.

Sarfaty M, Bloodhart B, Ewart G, Thurston GD, Balmes JR, Guidotti TL, et al. American Thoracic Society member survey on climate change and health. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015;12(2):274-8.

Sarfaty M, Mitchell M, Bolldhart B, Maibach EW. A Survey of African American Physicians on the Health Effects of Climate Change. International Journal of Environmental Health Research. 2014, November 28;11(12):12473-85.

Leffers J, Levy RM, Nicholas PK, Sweeney CF. Mandate for the Nursing Profession to Address Climate Change Through Nursing Education. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2017;49(6):679-87.

Wellbery C, Sheffield P, Timmireddy K, Sarfaty M, Teherani A, Fallar R. It's Time for Medical Schools to Introduce Climate Change into Their Curricula. Acad Med. 2018.

Hess JJ, Heilpern KL, Davis TE, Frumkin H. Climate change and emergency medicine: impacts and opportunities. Acad Emerg Med. 2009;16(8):782-94.

Frumkin H, Hess J, Luber G, Malilay J, McGeehin M. Climate change: the public health response. American Journal of Public Health. 2008, March 1;98(3):435-45.

Emergency Nurses Association. Position statement: emerging infectious diseases in the emergency care setting 2016, December [Available from: https://www.ena.org/docs/default-source/resource-library/practice-resources/position-statements/emerginginfectiousdiseasesemergencycaresetting.pdf?sfvrsn=7ec44f4f_14.

Pinkerton KE, Rom WN, Akpinar-Elci M, Balmes JR, Bayram H, Brandli O, et al. An official American Thoracic Society workshop report: Climate change and human health. Proc Am Thorac Soc. 2012;9(1):3-8.

World Association for Disaster Emergency Medicine. WADEM Climate Change Position Statement. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2017;32(4):351.

Heath Care Without Harm. 2018 [Available from: https://noharm.org/.

PRACTICE Greenhealth. 2018 [Available from: https://practicegreenhealth.org/.

Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. 2017 [Available from: https://envirn.org/.

Wiek A, Withycombe L, Redman CL. Key competencies in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development. Sustainability Science. 2011;6(2):203-18.

Álvarez Nieto C, López-Medina IM, Linares-Abad M, Grande-Gascón ML, Álvarez-García C. Curriculum nurse and strategies training on environmental sustainability and climate change. Enfermería Global. 2017;16(3):651.

Barna S, Goodman B, Mortimer F. The health effects of climate change: what does a nurse need to know? Nurse Educ Today. 2012;32(7):765-71.

Hardin R, Bhargava A, Bothner C, Browne K, Kusano S, Golrokhian A, et al. Towards a revolution in sustainability education: Vision, architecture, and assessment in a case-based approach. World Development Perspectives. 2016;1:58-63.

Richardson J, Grose J, Bradbury M, Kelsey J. Developing awareness of sustainability in nursing and midwifery using a scenario-based approach: Evidence from a pre and post educational intervention study. Nurse Educ Today. 2017;54:51-5.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2019 Sue Anne Bell, Megan Czerwinski, Jennifer Horowitz, Theodore J. Iwashyna, Mona Sarfaty

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.