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Table 2 Characteristics of respondents, their knowledge on risk groups and protective measures for heat-related health effects and their opinion on government activities

From: How resilient is the general population to heatwaves? A knowledge survey from the ENHANCE project in Brussels and Amsterdam

  Brussels Amsterdam Differencea
N = 120 N = 133 p value
Demographics of respondents
Male gender % 46.7 49.6 0.642
Average age in years (sd) 45.5 (18.1) 43.5 (19.6) 0.399
Education %b    0.515
 Lower 20.0 19.1  
 Medium 19.2 25.2  
 Higher 60.8 55.7  
Knowledge of respondents
Familiarity with existence of the heat plan %    0.314
 Yes 39.2 33.1  
 No 60.8 66.9  
Familiarity with risk groups for heat %c
 Elderly 87.5 69.2 <0.001
 Young children/babies 64.2 43.6 0.001
 Sick individuals/patients 35.0 36.1 0.856
 Socially isolated individuals 9.2 0.0 <0.001
 Pregnant women 4.2 3.8 0.868
 Obese individuals 2.5 6.8 0.111
 Individuals who perform a lot of physical effort 0.8 1.5 0.623
 Don’t know/only non-formal risk group 10.0 24.8 0.002
Familiarity with protective measures for heat %c
 Drink fluids 80.8 59.4 <0.001
 Avoid heat/sund 58.3 64.7 0.301
 Adjust clothinge 28.3 36.1 0.188
 Cool the bodyf 22.5 18.8 0.467
 Use fan or airconditioning 18.3 24.8 0.212
 Keep windows closed 16.7 6.8 0.014
 Avoid physical activity 11.7 15.0 0.432
 Adjust diet 9.2 8.3 0.801
 Visit green areas 8.3 1.5 0.011
 Use sunscreen 6.7 25.6 <0.001
 Don’t know 1.7 0.0  
Opinion of respondents
Sensitive to heat %    <0.001
 Very much 31.7 12.0  
 Somewhat 13.3 27.8  
 Not at all 54.2 59.4  
 Don’t know 0.8 0.8  
Sufficient awareness by government %    <0.001
 Too little 46.7 28.6  
 Just enough 38.3 31.6  
 Too much 2.5 3.8  
 Don’t know 12.5 36.1  
  1. aDifferences between groups were tested using an Independent Samples t test for age, and Pearson Chi square tests in all other cases. Significant differences are in italics
  2. bEducational level was categorised out of five groups in Brussels: (1) none, (2) primary school, (3) secondary school technical/professional (lower education), (4) secondary school general (medium education), (5) college/university (higher education); and seven groups in Amsterdam: (1) none, (2) primary school, (3) lower vocational education, (4) general secondary education (lower education), (5) secondary vocational education, (6) senior general or pre-university education (medium education), (7) college/university (higher education)
  3. cFamiliarity with risk groups and protective measures for heat-related health effects were asked as open questions, where respondents could provide as many answers as they wanted. Answers were later grouped in the above-mentioned categories
  4. dAvoid heat/sun includes the answers ‘stay inside’ and ‘stay in the shade’
  5. eAdjust clothing includes the answer ‘wear a hat’
  6. fCool the body includes the answers ‘swim’ and ‘take a shower’