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Type: Journal article
Title: Awareness of and attitudes towards heat waves within the context of climate change among a cohort of residents in Adelaide, Australia
Author: Akompab, D.
Bi, P.
Williams, S.
Grant, J.
Walker, I.
Augoustinos, M.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2013; 10(1):1-17
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Issue Date: 2013
ISSN: 1660-4601
Statement of
Derick A. Akompab, Peng Bi, Susan Williams, Janet Grant, Iain A. Walker and Martha Augoustinos
Abstract: Heat waves are a public health concern in Australia and unprecedented heat waves have been recorded in Adelaide over recent years. The aim of this study was to examine the perception and attitudes towards heat waves in the context of climate change among a group of residents in Adelaide, an Australian city with a temperate climate. A cross-sectional study was conducted in the summer of 2012 among a sample of 267 residents. The results of the survey found that television (89.9%), radio (71.2%), newspapers (45.3%) were the main sources from which respondents received information about heat waves. The majority of the respondents (73.0%) followed news about heat waves very or somewhat closely. About 26.6% of the respondents were extremely or very concerned about the effects of heat waves on them personally. The main issues that were of personal concern for respondents during a heat wave were their personal comfort (60.7%), their garden (48.7%), and sleeping well (47.6%). Overall, respondents were more concerned about the impacts of heat waves to the society than on themselves. There was a significant association between gender (χ² = 21.2, df = 3, p = 0.000), gross annual household income (p = 0.03) and concern for the societal effects of heat waves. Less than half (43.2%) of the respondents believed that heat waves will extremely or very likely increase in Adelaide according to climate projections. Nearly half (49.3%) believed that the effects of heat waves were already being felt in Adelaide. These findings may inform the reframing and communication strategies for heat waves in Adelaide in the context of climate change.
Keywords: climate change; heat waves; human health; attitudes; survey; Australia
Rights: © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
RMID: 0020124693
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph10010001
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications
Environment Institute publications

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