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Edlinger, Maximilian; Schneider, Michael; Lagally, Lena; Lob-Corzilius, Thomas; Mertes, Hanna; Deering, Katharina; Schoierer, Julia and Boese-O'Reilly, Stephan (2022): Klimawandel und Kindergesundheit: eine bundesweite Befragung von Pädiater*innen in Deutschland. In: Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen, Vol. 172: pp. 102-111

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Background: Children are a vulnerable group affected by climate change. Paediatricians are important actors in protecting children from climate change-related health risks and in identifying and treating relevant health effects. The main objectives of this study were to determine how paediatricians assess the relevance of climate change-related health impacts, through which channels paediatricians can be reached most effectively, how often climate change-specific prevention measures are implemented and how they are assessed. Methods: Between February and July 2020, an online survey was conducted among paediatricians. The cross-sectional survey was designed to gather knowledge and attitudes about the relevance of climate change, sources of information and prevention measures. All participants who answered only one question or none at all were excluded. Differences between groups were determined using one-factorial analysis of variance. Correlations were determined using Pearson's bivariate correlation analysis and tested for two-sided significance. Results: A total of 408 questionnaires were analysed. Over 95 % of the respondents were paediatricians, with just under half of them working in children's hospitals and a good third in paediatric practices. According to paediatricians, climate change has a relevant impact on children's health. The most significant effects on children's health were considered to be longer and stronger pollen seasons, neophytes and neozoa, Lyme disease and TBE (tick-borne encephalitis, summer meningoencephalitis), UV radiation and air pollutants. Certified training options in professional journals and participation in lectures or workshops at relevant congresses were identified as the two preferred types of training. Especially professional journals as the most frequently used source of information could function as a suitable tool to reach as many paediatricians as possible. 76 % of the paediatricians have not yet carried out any corresponding prevention activities, although information activities for parents or children were seen as being effective by 80 %. Whereas the possibilities of integrating climate change-oriented prevention activities into everyday practice, were perceived less positively. The most frequent reason given was lack of time. Discussion: To satisfy this future need for knowledge, but also for offerings from paediatricians for patients and their parents, concrete further continuous education and consultancy services must be prepared. In the future, further training offers, including the consultancy services, should be integrated into profession-specific training modules, presented at congresses, and then implemented into paediatricians' daily routine. Conclusion: The results of the study illustrate that the topic climate change and health has a high relevance for paediatricians and that information measures for parents are considered to be effective. Although paediatricians are concerned with the topic, there is an implementation deficit. Support is needed in the form of intensifying awareness-raising projects and educational modules for paediatricians to move from knowledge to action.

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