Determining Knowledge, Understanding, Perception and Attitudes Towards Climate Change-related Health Risks by Public Health Actors in Ontario to Better Inform Climate Mitigation, Adaptation and Risk Communication Strategies
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While majority of Canadians believe that climate change has the potential to harm them, many have a limited understanding of the associated health risks. Public health actors play an important role in communicating these risks alongside mitigation and adaptation strategies to the public. However, public health actors’ knowledge, understanding, perception and attitudes surrounding this issue across Ontario is not well known. As such, this study aims to address the following research questions: (1) “How does knowledge, understanding, perception and attitudes towards climate change-related health risks differ amongst public health sector actors in Ontario?” (2) “What mitigation, adaptation and risk communication strategies are public health units implementing or proposing for climate change-related health risks, and to what degree are they locally contextualized?”. Semi-structured interviews of Ontario public health actors (n=17) were conducted over six weeks. NVivo 12 was used for a combination of deductive and inductive thematic analyses; the former informed by theory of mental models (Westbrook, 2016, pp. 563-579). This study identified beliefs held by Ontario public health actors surrounding climate-related health risks, alongside motivators associated with increased engagement in environmental health work. Secondary findings elucidated emerging opportunities for key policy changes to address organizational and behavioural barriers towards the implementation of effective climate mitigation, adaptation, and effective risk communication strategies in the Ontario public health sector.
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Manvi Bhalla (2021). Determining Knowledge, Understanding, Perception and Attitudes Towards Climate Change-related Health Risks by Public Health Actors in Ontario to Better Inform Climate Mitigation, Adaptation and Risk Communication Strategies. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/17357