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Perception and Response to Heatwaves in Adelaide: A Qualitative Interview About the Elderly and Stakeholders

Bi, Peng; van Iersel, Renate; Saniotis, Arthur

doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000391712.55133.1a
Abstracts: ISEE 22nd Annual Conference, Seoul, Korea, 28 August–1 September 2010: Climate Change and Environmental Health

Discipline of Public Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

Abstracts published in Epidemiology have been reviewed by the societies at whose meetings the abstracts have been accepted for presentation. These abstracts have not undergone review by the Editorial Board of Epidemiology.


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To understand the perception of heatwaves and its impact on the health among the elderly and relevant response mechanism to heatwaves, specially targeting on the elderly from different government, nongovernment organizations and industries; and to provide policy implications to decision-makers and guidance to health practitioners.

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An argumentative policy analysis has been set up to identify the perception, arguments, and knowledge of target population and policy makers about specific actions that have to be taken before, during, and after heatwaves periods. Data were collected by anonymous semistructured interviews with relevant stakeholders and the elderly. The interviews were used to reconstruct participants' perspectives.

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Stakeholders have different views about the problem definition but did agree that an education campaign is necessary to inform the elderly about heat waves. Older people agreed about the definition of a heatwaves and they all gained this information through the media. The elderly cannot list direct heat effects but they do change daily activities.

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An education campaign needs to be established and performed through the media to educate the elderly about health risks of heat waves and how to prevent themselves and others.

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.