142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

Partnerships for Environmental Health & Justice: Communication Strategies to Reduce Climate-Related Asthma Events in DC

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 : 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM

Laura Anderko, RN, PhD , School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
John Davies-Cole, PhD, MPH , Center for Policy, Planning & Evaluation, District of Columbia Department of Health, Washington, DC
Background: Climate change poses a threat to health, including increases in allergies and asthma. Ambient air pollutants and allergens can exacerbate respiratory diseases and are impacted by heat. Asthma is a major health problem in the District of Columbia (DC), which has a higher prevalence than the U.S. average. Compared to the general resident DC population low-income, minority, children are at greater risk for emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths due to asthma. It is anticipated that respiratory disease and asthma will become more prevalent and severe because of climate changes resulting in increased pollen, molds, and air pollution. To date, no studies have investigated best practices for communicating health risks to environmental justice (EJ) communities as it relates to climate change. The overall purpose of this study is to inform public health messaging to improve adaptation of low-income, at-risk children and families to the negative health effects of climate change, specifically extreme heat events, poor air quality, and asthma attacks. It supports the EPA’s Plan EJ 2014 to protect health in communities over-burdened by pollution. Methods: Qualitative, using a focus group format to collect information about how parents of asthmatic children access information about hot weather/poor air quality days and increased risk for asthma attacks in their children. A follow up focus group will evaluate the effectiveness of asthma alert messaging (designed in partnership with parents) in improving adaptation to heat events to reduce asthma attacks. Findings: Will be reported along with recommendations for translating into EJ communities.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how climate impacts air quality and asthma risk. Discuss community based participatory approach in designing asthma alert messaging using environmental justice principles. Evaluate effectiveness of asthma alert messaging in improving adaptation of at-risk families.

Keyword(s): Asthma, Climate and Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal investigator for this study and have conducted research in the area of environmental health and communication.
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.