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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(6), 2164-2184; doi:10.3390/ijerph10062164
Article

Heat Waves and Climate Change: Applying the Health Belief Model to Identify Predictors of Risk Perception and Adaptive Behaviours in Adelaide, Australia

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Received: 24 March 2013; in revised form: 5 May 2013 / Accepted: 8 May 2013 / Published: 29 May 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
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Abstract: Heat waves are considered a health risk and they are likely to increase in frequency, intensity and duration as a consequence of climate change. The effects of heat waves on human health could be reduced if individuals recognise the risks and adopt healthy behaviours during a heat wave. The purpose of this study was to determine the predictors of risk perception using a heat wave scenario and identify the constructs of the health belief model that could predict adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. A cross-sectional study was conducted during the summer of 2012 among a sample of persons aged between 30 to 69 years in Adelaide. Participants’ perceptions were assessed using the health belief model as a conceptual frame. Their knowledge about heat waves and adaptive behaviours during heat waves was also assessed. Logistic regression analyses were performed to determine the predictors of risk perception to a heat wave scenario and adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. Of the 267 participants, about half (50.9%) had a high risk perception to heat waves while 82.8% had good adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. Multivariate models found that age was a significant predictor of risk perception. In addition, participants who were married (OR = 0.21; 95% CI, 0.07–0.62), who earned a gross annual household income of ≥$60,000 (OR = 0.41; 95% CI, 0.17–0.94) and without a fan (OR = 0.29; 95% CI, 0.11–0.79) were less likely to have a high risk perception to heat waves. Those who were living with others (OR = 2.87; 95% CI, 1.19–6.90) were more likely to have a high risk perception to heat waves. On the other hand, participants with a high perceived benefit (OR = 2.14; 95% CI, 1.00–4.58), a high “cues to action” (OR = 3.71; 95% CI, 1.63–8.43), who had additional training or education after high school (OR = 2.65; 95% CI, 1.25–5.58) and who earned a gross annual household income of ≥$60,000 (OR = 2.66; 95% CI, 1.07–6.56) were more likely to have good adaptive behaviours during a heat wave. The health belief model could be useful to guide the design and implementation of interventions to promote adaptive behaviours during heat waves.
Keywords: climate change; heat waves; health belief model; risk perception; adaptive behaviours; Australia climate change; heat waves; health belief model; risk perception; adaptive behaviours; Australia
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Akompab, D.A.; Bi, P.; Williams, S.; Grant, J.; Walker, I.A.; Augoustinos, M. Heat Waves and Climate Change: Applying the Health Belief Model to Identify Predictors of Risk Perception and Adaptive Behaviours in Adelaide, Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 2164-2184.

AMA Style

Akompab DA, Bi P, Williams S, Grant J, Walker IA, Augoustinos M. Heat Waves and Climate Change: Applying the Health Belief Model to Identify Predictors of Risk Perception and Adaptive Behaviours in Adelaide, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(6):2164-2184.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Akompab, Derick A.; Bi, Peng; Williams, Susan; Grant, Janet; Walker, Iain A.; Augoustinos, Martha. 2013. "Heat Waves and Climate Change: Applying the Health Belief Model to Identify Predictors of Risk Perception and Adaptive Behaviours in Adelaide, Australia." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 6: 2164-2184.


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