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

Supplementary Files



Climate Change
Health Policy
Health Education


AbstractBackground: 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.



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