Quarterly scientific journal

Exploring nurses' knowledge and perceptions on environmental health and climate change

Konstantinos Evgenikos , Martha Kelesi-Stavropoulou


ABSTRACT Introduction: Climate change is already causing and is expected to cause even more severe, significant health problems in the population in the future. Nurses are called upon to recognize their contribution as health professionals and to be properly trained to be able to adequately address them as members of the multidisciplinary team. Aim: To explore nurses' knowledge and perceptions on climate change and environmental health, and the importance of education on climate change issues affecting population health Methods: literature search of English- and Greek-language primary quantitative and qualitative studies from the last decade was conducted, using keywords in the databases Google Scholar, PubMed and SCOPUS. Results: It emerged that the majority of nurses are aware of the existence of the negative effects of climate change and its causes, but there is a lack of knowledge and inability to cope with the consequences with the corresponding skills relevant to dealing with its consequences, while they are not sufficiently aware of issues related to environmental health. The majority of nurses believe that there is a link between climate change and human health, yet they do not know in what place they could contribute to addressing it. Conclusions: Nurses' knowledge of climate change and environmental health is mostly considered inadequate, while nurses do not seem to have an adequate understanding of the multifaceted role they are called upon to play in managing the effects of climate change on human health. Contemporary and key nursing education with an environmental focus needs to be strengthened.

Keywords: Nursing, environmental health, Climate change, nursing education, nurses perceptions and knowledge, Public health

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