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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(9), 992;

Heat Health Messages: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Preventative Messages Tool in the Older Population of South Australia

Department for Health and Ageing, 11 Hindmarsh Square, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia
School of Public Health, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 July 2017 / Revised: 29 August 2017 / Accepted: 30 August 2017 / Published: 31 August 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Extreme Weather and Public Health)
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This study explores the efficacy of providing targeted information to older individuals to prevent adverse health outcomes during extreme heat. Participants ≥65 years of age (n = 637) were recruited from previous population-based studies and randomized into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received evidence-based information leaflets and summarised “Beat the Heat” tips. Post summer 2013–2014, participants responded to questions about their behaviours and their health experiences. Chi square analysis and risk ratios (RR) were used to determine the difference in effects. Responses were received from 216 intervention subjects and 218 controls. Behaviour modification during extreme heat was similar in both groups except for significant increases in the use of cooling systems and the use of a wet cloth to cool the skin in the intervention group. Both actions were recommended in the information package. More people in the intervention group also claimed to have had adequate heat health information. After adjusting for confounders, the RR for self-reported heat stress experienced during summer 2014 indicated a 63% (RR 0.37; 95% CI: 0.22–0.63) reduction in the intervention group compared to the control group. Access to intensive prevention information may have contributed to this positive outcome, indicating the potential usefulness of targeted heat-health information for seniors. View Full-Text
Keywords: heat-related illness; randomized trial; older people; prevention heat-related illness; randomized trial; older people; prevention

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Nitschke, M.; Krackowizer, A.; Hansen, A.L.; Bi, P.; Tucker, G.R. Heat Health Messages: A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Preventative Messages Tool in the Older Population of South Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 992.

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