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Knowledge, opinions and attitudes of physicians regarding air pollution in the Bouches-du-Rhône



Knowledge, opinions and attitudes of physicians regarding air pollution in the Bouches-du-Rhône



Revue des Maladies Respiratoires 16(4): 575-584



To evaluate knowledge, opinions and attitudes of physicians towards prevention of health consequences from air pollution, especially photo-chemical pollution. A questionnaire was prepared by a multidisciplinary group from published literature on Health impact of air pollution and from local context. It was administered on line among a random sample of physicians practising in the County of the Bouches du Rhône (Marseille, South-eastern France). The sample consisted in pediatricians (1/2), general practitioners (GP; 1/14) and pneumologists. The answer rate was 79% (112/169 GP, 94/107 pediatricians, 82/91 pneumologists). Among the 288 physicians who answered the questionnaire, 44% declared they felt very concerned by air pollution, especially pediatricians. While 87% were knowledgeable about SO2 regulations, only 59% (48% among pediatricians) were knowledgeable about ozone regulations. While about all physicians knew the health effects of air pollution episodes on respiratory tract, only half knew that mortality rates can increase significantly during such episodes. Forty percent of physicians had never heard about air pollution episodes that occurred in their city, while air quality control networks had identified them. At last, only 15% of physicians had already given recommendations to patients during episodes of ozone pollution (above 180 micrograms/m3). That study shows the need for improving knowledge and attitudes of physicians about air pollution, especially photo-chemical air pollution. As physicians are concerned about the Health impact of air pollution, and patients are demanding about this issue, training and information programmes should be implemented rapidly. However, experimental interventions aimed at reducing the acute effects of air pollution episodes should be evaluated to show their efficiency, and to convince physicians with scientific arguments.

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Accession: 046508695

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PMID: 10549073


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