Factors associated with population risk perceptions of continuing drought in Australia

Beverley Raphael, Melanie Taylor, Garry Stevens, Margo Barr, Matthew Gorringe, Kingsley Agho*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To determine factors associated with risk perception of continuing drought in Australia. Design and setting: Computer Assisted Telephone Interview survey. The sample was weighted to the New South Wales population. Participants: A total of 2004 adults aged 16 years and over. Results: Overall 55.9% of the respondents thought drought was extremely or very likely to continue, 60.1% were extremely or very concerned that they or their family would be affected, and 86.3% reported that they had made some level of change to the way that they lived their lives because of the perceived risk of continuing drought. After controlling for confounding factors, the odds of perceived drought being extremely or very likely to continue, concern for self or family and making changes to behaviour because of the possibility of continuing drought were significantly higher in women than men by 43%, 59% and 86%, respectively. Compared with those who lived in highly accessible geographical areas, respondents who lived in remote or very remote geographical areas were 3.22 (adjusted odds ratios = . 3.22; 95% CI, 1.69-6.14) times more likely to think that drought would continue and were 3.72 (adjusted odds ratios = . 3.72; 95% CI, 1.10-12.56) times more likely to have changed the way they lived their lives because of the possibility of continuing drought. Conclusion: Over half of the New South Wales population thought drought was very or extremely likely to continue. The baseline data collected in this survey will be useful for monitoring changes over time in the population's perceptions of continuing drought.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-337
Number of pages8
JournalAustralian Journal of Rural Health
Volume17
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adaptation
  • Disaster
  • Drought
  • Risk perception
  • Sociodemographic factor

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