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Patient-Provider Discussions About Strategies to Limit Air Pollution Exposures
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  • Pubmed ID:
    29903566
  • Pubmed Central ID:
    PMC6075706
  • Description:
    Introduction:

    Exposure to air pollution negatively affects respiratory and cardiovascular health. The objective of this study was to describe the extent to which health professionals report talking about how to limit exposure to air pollution during periods of poor air quality with their at-risk patients.

    Methods:

    In 2015, a total of 1,751 health professionals completed an online survey and reported whether they talk with their patients about limiting their exposure to air pollution. In 2017, these data were analyzed to assess the frequency that health professionals in primary care, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, and nursing reported talking about limiting air pollution exposure with patients who have respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, were aged ≤18 years, were aged ≥65 years, or were pregnant women. Frequencies of positive responses were assessed across categories of provider- and practice-level characteristics.

    Results:

    Overall, 714 (41%) respondents reported ever talking with their patients about limiting their exposure to air pollution. Thirty-four percent and 16% of providers specifically reported talking with their patients with respiratory or cardiovascular disease diagnoses, respectively. Percentages of health professionals who reported talking with their patients about limiting air pollution exposure were highest among respondents in pediatrics (56%) and lowest among respondents in obstetrics/gynecology (0%).

    Conclusions:

    Despite the well-described health effects of exposure to air pollution, the majority of respondents did not report talking with their patients about limiting their exposure to air pollution. These findings reveal clear opportunities to improve awareness about strategies to limit air pollution exposure among sensitive groups of patients and their health care providers.

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