Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(11), 5565-5583; doi:10.3390/ijerph10115565
Article

Extreme Heat and Health: Perspectives from Health Service Providers in Rural and Remote Communities in South Australia

1 Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia 2 Discipline of Rural Health, School of Population Health, The University of Adelaide, South Australia 5005, Australia 3 Centre for Regional Engagement, University of South Australia, 111 Nicolson Avenue, Whyalla South Australia 5608, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 September 2013; in revised form: 18 October 2013 / Accepted: 22 October 2013 / Published: 29 October 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change and Human Health)
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Abstract: Among the challenges for rural communities and health services in Australia, climate change and increasing extreme heat are emerging as additional stressors. Effective public health responses to extreme heat require an understanding of the impact on health and well-being, and the risk or protective factors within communities. This study draws on lived experiences to explore these issues in eleven rural and remote communities across South Australia, framing these within a socio-ecological model. Semi-structured interviews with health service providers (n = 13), and a thematic analysis of these data, has identified particular challenges for rural communities and their health services during extreme heat. The findings draw attention to the social impacts of extreme heat in rural communities, the protective factors (independence, social support, education, community safety), and challenges for adaptation (vulnerabilities, infrastructure, community demographics, housing and local industries). With temperatures increasing across South Australia, there is a need for local planning and low-cost strategies to address heat-exacerbating factors in rural communities, to minimise the impact of extreme heat in the future.
Keywords: adaptation; climate change; extreme heat; health services; public health; rural health

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MDPI and ACS Style

Williams, S.; Bi, P.; Newbury, J.; Robinson, G.; Pisaniello, D.; Saniotis, A.; Hansen, A. Extreme Heat and Health: Perspectives from Health Service Providers in Rural and Remote Communities in South Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 5565-5583.

AMA Style

Williams S, Bi P, Newbury J, Robinson G, Pisaniello D, Saniotis A, Hansen A. Extreme Heat and Health: Perspectives from Health Service Providers in Rural and Remote Communities in South Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(11):5565-5583.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Williams, Susan; Bi, Peng; Newbury, Jonathan; Robinson, Guy; Pisaniello, Dino; Saniotis, Arthur; Hansen, Alana. 2013. "Extreme Heat and Health: Perspectives from Health Service Providers in Rural and Remote Communities in South Australia." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 11: 5565-5583.

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