Del Ponte, Alessandro, Lina Ang, Lianjun Li, Noah Lim, Wilson Wai San Tam and Wei Jie Seow (2022). Change of Air Quality Knowledge, Perceptions, Attitudes, and Practices During and Post-Wildfires in the United States. Science of The Total Environment, 836, DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.155432.
Amid worsening climate change, the recurrent wildfires have substantially worsened air quality in the Western United States (U.S.). Understanding the knowledge, attitudes, perception, and practices (KAPP) over time in response to natural disasters such as wildfires is crucial for public health interventions and disaster preparedness. This is the first study to investigate the change in air quality KAPP over time in response to natural disasters. Previous studies have only assessed KAPP at a fixed time point. Using a two-wave panel survey (during and post-wildfires), we assessed the association between KAPP and respiratory health indicators as well as the changes over time in 212 participants in the U.S. Between the two waves, we found a significant 8% increase in knowledge, which was mainly driven by participants in areas unaffected by the wildfires. In addition, we found differential associations between KAPP and respiratory health indicators between areas affected and unaffected by the wildfires. These findings suggest that experiencing wildfires may affect KAPP and more longitudinal studies are warranted, particularly during periodic air quality crises.
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