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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(12), 12969-12982;

General Practitioners’ Knowledge and Concern about Electromagnetic Fields

Unit of Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg 6700, Denmark
Department of Epidemiology and International Public Health, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld 33615, Germany
Center for Clinical Epidemiology, Odense University Hospital, University of Southern Denmark, Odense 5000, Denmark
Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, Center of Clinical Epidemiology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen 45147, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 November 2014 / Revised: 3 December 2014 / Accepted: 8 December 2014 / Published: 12 December 2014
Full-Text   |   PDF [681 KB, uploaded 12 December 2014]


Our aim is to explore general practitioners’ (GPs’) knowledge about EMF, and to assess whether different knowledge structures are related to the GPs’ concern about EMF. Random samples were drawn from lists of GPs in Germany in 2008. Knowledge about EMF was assessed by seven items. A latent class analysis was conducted to identify latent structures in GPs’ knowledge. Further, the GPs’ concern about EMF health risk was measured using a score comprising six items. The association between GPs’ concern about EMF and their knowledge was analysed using multiple linear regression. In total 435 (response rate 23.3%) GPs participated in the study. Four groups were identified by the latent class analysis: 43.1% of the GPs gave mainly correct answers; 23.7% of the GPs answered low frequency EMF questions correctly; 19.2% answered only the questions relating EMF with health risks, and 14.0% answered mostly “don’t know”. There was no association between GPs’ latent knowledge classes or between the number of correct answers given by the GPs and their EMF concern, whereas the number of incorrect answers was associated with EMF concern. Greater EMF concern in subjects with more incorrect answers suggests paying particular attention to misconceptions regarding EMF in risk communication. View Full-Text
Keywords: general practitioners; electromagnetic fields; risk perception; concern; cross sectional study general practitioners; electromagnetic fields; risk perception; concern; cross sectional study
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Berg-Beckhoff, G.; Breckenkamp, J.; Larsen, P.V.; Kowall, B. General Practitioners’ Knowledge and Concern about Electromagnetic Fields. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 12969-12982.

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