142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Current and potential role of youth in communicating risk and warning information to the elderly during heatwaves

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Monday, November 17, 2014 : 1:15 PM - 1:30 PM

Chris Tang , Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
Gabriella Rundblad, Dr , Department of Education and Professional Studies, King's College London, London, United Kingdom
In the US, heatwaves have been responsible for higher levels of mortality than earthquakes, tornados and floods combined. The most common victims are typically marginalised groups: the elderly, the sick and the socially isolated (Hajat et al. 2007, Schwartz 2005, Semenza 1996), but the adoption of a few simple measures can substantially reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality. Little is known about how ethnic and racial minority populations respond to public health initiatives and access health advice, and there is a clear need to address the inequality in how information about health risks in general is framed and disseminated. Through their contact with education systems, younger members of communities have the potential to act as agents of risk and health advice in communication systems and could play a potential role in reducing health risks during a heatwave.

This talk reports on the results of a series of focus groups aimed at identifying and comparing the conceptualisations, perceptions and level of health literacy evident in young people aged 16-25 and over 65 year olds from both white and ethnic minority backgrounds. The project combines linguistic and social science research methods: the focus groups materials were informed by a linguistic analysis of recent media reports on heatwaves and cognitive linguistic theory. The results have key implications for the potential of young people to access, understand and communicate warning information about heatwaves to elderly members of their communities.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Diversity and culture

Learning Objectives:
Compares level health literacy, conceptualizations and perceptions of the young and elderly from ethnic minority and white majority backgrounds in relation to heat waves. Evaluates the potential of ethnic minority and white majority youths to communicate public health information to elderly members of their communities during a heatwave event.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Lecturer in Applied Linguistics at King’s College London. I have managed a number of research projects in the area of Cognitive Linguistics with special focus on Health communication and Typical/Atypical Language Development, using a combination of Psycholinguistic and Discourse Analysis approaches.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.