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Article

Perception of Health Challenges, Self-Rated Health and Feeling of Empowerment in a Changing Climate and Environment with Permafrost Thawing

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Arctic Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Copenhagen University, 1165 Copenhagen, Denmark
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Nordregio, SE-11186 Stockholm, Sweden
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Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Qeqertarsuaq Museum, Qeqertarsuaq, Denmark
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Thule Institute, University of Oulu, FI-90014 Oulu, Finland
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Claus Jacob
Received: 26 March 2021 / Revised: 25 May 2021 / Accepted: 27 May 2021 / Published: 7 June 2021
Climate change is a global challenge which has direct and indirect health impacts on the lives of people and communities in the Arctic. The aim of our study was to evaluate the perception of permafrost thaw and health challenges and to determine which perceived environmental and adaptation factors relate to self-rated health and, more specifically, to feeling of empowerment when facing the changes and impacts of climate change and permafrost thawing. Questionnaire data (n = 100) were collected from one community located in Greenland, Disko Bay. Data were analyzed by cross-tabulation and the significances were tested either by Pearson’s χ2 test, Fisher’s exact test or by the t-test, when applicable. Based on these analyses, logistic and linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the associations between demographic variables, challenges posed by permafrost thaw and self-rated health, and associations between feeling of empowerment and perceived environmental/adaptation factors. The results indicated that climate change was not assessed as being a direct risk for the health of local people or their feeling of empowerment. Nature seemed to play an important role for local people, and not being in the natural environment for recreational activities seemed to decrease feeling of empowerment (OR 0.42, p = 0.042, 95% CI 0.17–0.97). This paper provides new, multidisciplinary research information about the perception of health challenges, health, and feeling of empowerment among people living in an environment impacted by permafrost thaw and climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: climate change; permafrost thaw; empowerment; health; adaptation; Arctic; indigenous people climate change; permafrost thaw; empowerment; health; adaptation; Arctic; indigenous people
MDPI and ACS Style

Timlin, U.; Kauppila, S.; Jungsberg, L.; Nordström, T.; Schmidt-Pedersen, K.; Kyngäs, H.; Rautio, A. Perception of Health Challenges, Self-Rated Health and Feeling of Empowerment in a Changing Climate and Environment with Permafrost Thawing. Sci 2021, 3, 28. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020028

AMA Style

Timlin U, Kauppila S, Jungsberg L, Nordström T, Schmidt-Pedersen K, Kyngäs H, Rautio A. Perception of Health Challenges, Self-Rated Health and Feeling of Empowerment in a Changing Climate and Environment with Permafrost Thawing. Sci. 2021; 3(2):28. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020028

Chicago/Turabian Style

Timlin, Ulla, Sofia Kauppila, Leneisja Jungsberg, Tanja Nordström, Kirsten Schmidt-Pedersen, Helvi Kyngäs, and Arja Rautio. 2021. "Perception of Health Challenges, Self-Rated Health and Feeling of Empowerment in a Changing Climate and Environment with Permafrost Thawing" Sci 3, no. 2: 28. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sci3020028

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