Special Issue "Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Liliana Cori
Website
Leading Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, (CNR-IFC) Research Unit of Environmental Epidemiology and Disease Registries, Pisa, Italy
Interests: risk communication; risk perception; environment and health research; health impact assessment; ethics; environmental epidemiology; governance; public participation
Prof. Fabrizio Bianchi
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Institute of Clinical Physiology, National Research Council, (CNR-IFC) Research Unit of Environmental Epidemiology and Disease Registries, Pisa, Italy
Interests: environmental epidemiology; statistics; environment and health research; ethics and philosophy; governance
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ennio Cadum
Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Health Protection Agency, Department of Hygiene and Health Prevention and Complex Operative Unit Health and Environment and Innovative Projects, Pavia, Italy
Interests: environmental epidemiology; environmental pollution; risk assessment; health impact assessment; hygiene and public health

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Research in the environment and health domain is mainly focused on the prevention or limitation of risks to people and biodiversity, using multidisciplinary approaches. Environmental and health research often develops in conflictual contexts from a social and scientific point of view. The knowledge of each of the actors involved can be partial, but, despite this, the results of the research must be usable for making decisions. To pursue these objectives, a broad picture must be taken into account, including the different perspectives of policymakers, citizen, and stakeholders, to reinforce, on the one hand, the validity of research results, and, on the other, the usability of results in decision making all along the governance cycle.

In the environment and health context, the knowledge, attitudes, behaviors, and preferences of each of the actors involved are not an element of an outline, but form a part of, and substantially influence, research design, its results, and its uptake. Risk perception is a person’s judgment about a certain risk, influenced by facts, knowledge (lay and scientific), personal preferences, and attitudes (dread, trust, interpretation of uncertainty), individual’s assessments (general and specific), and his/her social role (defined “agency” by sociology disciplines, that is, the possibility/ability to act to change one’s condition). The study of risk perception has become increasingly relevant with the recognition that beliefs, knowledge, values, and attitudes influence not only decisions, but also behaviors, and, directly, the exposure of people to environmental pressures. The role of the social, cultural, and contextual factors that influence risk perception has been investigated by many researchers, who have proposed different interpretative models. The studies on risk perception can use direct measurements, via questionnaires, interviews, or qualitative investigations, and indirect methods, like the hedonic-price evaluation, which economists use to attribute costs to different kinds of “goods”.

We are experiencing an unprecedented crisis at a global level, with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world, and the lives of billions of people in different ways. The Covid-19 outbreak, which exploded at the beginning of 2020, is being examined by thousands of researchers worldwide, and, being a highly transmittable viral infection, social and environmental conditions of overcrowding and closeness between people and animals are among the causes that led to the outbreak. The global consequences are hardly predictable, but due consideration of risk communication and public perception can be a strong instrument to improve governance processes, to support social dialog and mutual cooperation.

This Special Issue offers an opportunity to publish high-quality interdisciplinary research and reviews on environmental health and risk perception, including research developed in the framework of the COVID-19 viral infection outbreak. We welcome manuscripts specifically focusing on the risk perception evaluation of different stakeholders, on the use of risk perception data for decision making, to support governance or to provide information to nourish research design and dissemination. We will also consider articles tackling the issue of risk perception in the framework of political decision-making, and as a tool to reinforce and fine-tune communication campaigns and awareness-raising activities.


Dr. Liliana Cori
Prof. Fabrizio Bianchi
Dr. Ennio Cadum
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.ynsqex.icu by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • risk perception
  • environmental health
  • decision making
  • risk governance
  • risk communication
  • stakeholder participation
  • risk perception and Covid-19

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Risk Perception and COVID-19
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3114; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093114 - 29 Apr 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world. Researchers are challenged by informing and supporting authorities on acquired knowledge and practical implications. This Editorial applies established theories of risk perception research to COVID-19 pandemic, and [...] Read more.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is shaking the foundations of public health governance all over the world. Researchers are challenged by informing and supporting authorities on acquired knowledge and practical implications. This Editorial applies established theories of risk perception research to COVID-19 pandemic, and reflects on the role of risk perceptions in these unprecedented times, and specifically in the framework of the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health Special Issue “Research about risk perception in the Environmental Health domain”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle
Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Constructs of COVID-19 Health Beliefs: A Comparison Between Sexual Minority and Heterosexual Individuals in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4282; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124282 - 15 Jun 2020
Abstract
This online survey study aimed to compare the cognitive, affective, and behavioral constructs of health beliefs related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals in Taiwan. In total, 533 sexual minority and 1421 heterosexual participants were recruited through a [...] Read more.
This online survey study aimed to compare the cognitive, affective, and behavioral constructs of health beliefs related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) between sexual minority and heterosexual individuals in Taiwan. In total, 533 sexual minority and 1421 heterosexual participants were recruited through a Facebook advertisement. The constructs pertaining to cognition (perceived relative susceptibility to COVID-19, perceived COVID-19 severity, having sufficient knowledge and information on COVID-19, and confidence in coping with COVID-19), affect (worry toward COVID-19), and behavior (adoption of health-protective behaviors) in relation to health beliefs about COVID-19 were compared between sexual minority and heterosexual participants. The results indicated that sexual minority participants had lower perceived susceptibility to COVID-19, greater self-confidence in coping with COVID-19, and lower worry about COVID-19 and were less likely to maintain good indoor ventilation and disinfect their household than heterosexual individuals. Sexual orientation is the modifying factor for the Health Belief Model in the COVID-19 pandemic and should be taken into consideration when medical professionals establish prevention programs for COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
Open AccessArticle
The Emergence of Risk Communication Networks and the Development of Citizen Health-Related Behaviors during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Social Selection and Contagion Processes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 4148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114148 - 10 Jun 2020
Abstract
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a variety of public health strategies have been implemented by governments worldwide. However, the fact that strict government mandates focus on physical distancing does not mean that social connectedness for voluntary risk communication among citizens should be sacrificed. [...] Read more.
Amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, a variety of public health strategies have been implemented by governments worldwide. However, the fact that strict government mandates focus on physical distancing does not mean that social connectedness for voluntary risk communication among citizens should be sacrificed. Furthermore, we lack an understanding of citizens’ behaviors regarding the voluntary adoption of public health measures and the control of mental wellbeing in the age of physical distancing. Key variables in the response to the global pandemic are the emergence of risk deliberation networks, voluntary compliance with government guidelines, and the restoration of citizens’ subjective health. However, little is known about how citizens’ health-related behaviors coevolve with social connections for sharing information and discussing urgent pandemic issues. The findings show that selection and social influence mechanisms coexist by affecting each citizen’s health-related behaviors and community-led risk discourses in the face of the urgent health crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparison of Infection Venues of COVID-19 Case Clusters in Northeast China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(11), 3955; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17113955 - 03 Jun 2020
Abstract
The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019. In this study, we compared various types of infection locations in which COVID-19 cases clustered, based on the data from three adjacent provinces in Northeast China. The collected data include all [...] Read more.
The world has been suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic since late 2019. In this study, we compared various types of infection locations in which COVID-19 cases clustered, based on the data from three adjacent provinces in Northeast China. The collected data include all officially reported cases in this area until 8 March 2020. We explored the associations between the cases and the frequency of infection locations. The COVID-19 epidemic situation was worse in Heilongjiang Province than in Liaoning and Jilin Provinces. Most clustered cases occurred in individual families and/or between relatives. The transmission in public venues served as a hub for transmitting the disease to other families and results in new clusters. The public transport spread the infection over long distances by transporting infected individuals, and most infections did not seem to occur within vehicles. This field study shows the effect of indoor environments on SARS-CoV-2 transmission and our data may be useful in developing guidance for future disease prevention and control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Open AccessArticle
Media Exposure, Disaster Experience, and Risk Perception of Rural Households in Earthquake-Stricken Areas: Evidence from Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3246; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093246 - 06 May 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
For effective communication and management of disaster risks, it is important to explore how media exposure and disaster experience related to earthquake events affect residents’ prospect ranks of disaster risk perceptions. Using survey data from 327 households located in the Wenchuan and Lushan [...] Read more.
For effective communication and management of disaster risks, it is important to explore how media exposure and disaster experience related to earthquake events affect residents’ prospect ranks of disaster risk perceptions. Using survey data from 327 households located in the Wenchuan and Lushan earthquake regions in China, the ordinary least square method was used to explore the associations among media exposure, severity of disaster experience, and residents’ perception of prospect ranks of the possibility and severity of disasters. The results showed the following. (1) Rural households relied predominately on television broadcasts from traditional media, and on mobile phones and internet content from new media to obtain disaster information. From the residents surveyed, 90% believed that a disaster experience was serious, 82% considered that another major earthquake would seriously affect their lives and property, while approximately 40% of the residents did not believe there would be another major earthquake in the next 10 years. (2) Media exposure was negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability and severity of disasters, with traditional media exposure significantly negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the severity of disasters and new media exposure significantly negatively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability of disasters. Severity experience was significantly and positively correlated with the perceived prospect ranks of the probability and severity of disasters. (3) New media exposure moderated the relationship between residents’ disaster experience and their perception of prospect ranks of the severity of disasters. This study can help deepen our understanding of disaster risk communication and better guide the practice of disaster risk management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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Open AccessArticle
Generational Differences in Perceptions of Food Health/Risk and Attitudes toward Organic Food and Game Meat: The Case of the COVID-19 Crisis in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(9), 3148; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17093148 - 30 Apr 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In December 2019, a novel laboratory-confirmed coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, which has caused clusters of severe illnesses, was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China. This foodborne illness, which reportedly most likely originated in a seafood market where wild animals are [...] Read more.
In December 2019, a novel laboratory-confirmed coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection, which has caused clusters of severe illnesses, was first reported in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province, China. This foodborne illness, which reportedly most likely originated in a seafood market where wild animals are sold illegally, has transmitted among humans through close contact, across the world. The aim of this study is to explore health/risk perceptions of and attitudes toward healthy/risky food in the immediate context of food crisis. More specifically, by using the data collected from 1008 respondents in January 2020, the time when China was hit hard by the “Corona Virus Disease 2019” (COVID-19), this study investigates the overall and different generational respondents’ health/risk perceptions of and attitudes toward organic food and game meat. The results reveal that, firstly, based on their food health and risk perceptions of healthy and risky food, the respondents’ general attitudes are positive toward organic food but relatively negative toward game meat. Secondly, older generations have a more positive attitude and are more committed to organic food. Younger generations’ attitude toward game meat is more negative whereas older generations attach more importance to it because of its nutritional and medicinal values. In addition, this research also indicates that the COVID-19 crisis influences the respondents’ perceptions of and attitudes toward organic food and game meat consumption. However, the likelihood of its impact on older generations’ future change in diets is smaller, which implies that older generations’ food beliefs are more stable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research about Risk Perception in the Environmental Health Domain)
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