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

1 Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia 2 Population Research & Outcome Studies, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia 3 Climate Adaptation Flagship, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO, Perth, WA 6931, Australia 4 School of Psychology, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
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

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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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