Heatwaves perceived impacts and adaptive behaviours - results of a cross-sectional study in pakistan
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Università del Piemonte Orientale CRIMEDIM - Center for Research and Training in Disaster Medicine, Humanitarian Aid, and Global Health - Università del Piemonte Orientale (UPO), 28100 Novara, Italy I Piano, Via Bernardino Lanino, 1, 28100 Novara NO Italy
Università del Piemonte Orientale
Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Brussels, Belgium Research Group on Emergency and Disaster Medicine (REGEDIM), Brussels, Belgium Belgium
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A224
The frequency and severity of heatwaves have been on the rise, thus seriously posing a great challenge to human health and societal well-being. To find out how people perceive impacts and adapt to heatwaves, this cross-sectional study was carried out across Pakistan. Data was collected using a standardized questionnaire using Likert Scale technique. Heatwaves perceived impacts were measured using a total of five items using a scale i.e., Not at all “1”, Less likely “2”, Fairly “3”, Very Much “4”, A great deal “5”. Whereas individual adaptation was measured using a total of 14 statements using a five-point Likert scale of Never “1”, Rarely “2”, Sometimes “3”, Very Often “4”, and Always “5” respectively. Demographic information included age, gender, marital status, education, employment, income, ethnicity, living arrangements and type of residence. A total of 698 responses were received with the majority belonging to urban areas (60.64%) compared to rural areas (39.36%); with most of the respondents being male (71.14%) compared to female (28.86%). Majority of the respondents were from ethnic background “Pashtun” (34.99%) followed by Punjabis (17.78%), other ethnicities (17.20%), Urdu Speakers (16.47%) and Sindhi and Baluchi (13.56%). Results for perceived impacts suggest extreme impacts in terms of a higher perceived negative personal health impacts, increased perceived negative health impacts on relatives, extreme worry about overall heatwaves impacts in general, high perceived likelihood of heatwaves events and high perceived negative consequences of heatwaves in Pakistan. Respondents’ individual adaptive behaviours were measured using fourteen statements, for example “Use an umbrella/cloth when walking outside” (Cronbach’s alpha=0.91). The total individual adaptive behaviour score was then dichotomized into low (14-43) and high (44-70) at “midpoint”. The study results can play an important role in targeting certain activities at the grassroots level keeping in mind the vulnerable situation of different ethnic groups.