Knowledge and attitudes of future physicians in the Cordillera Region of the Philippines towards climate change: A pre-pandemic cross-sectional study

Elsevier,   The Journal of Climate Change and Health, Volume 4, 2021, 100063
John Anthony A. Domantay, Carl Froilan D. Leochico, Philline Aurea Grace S. Salvador, Verna Moila Ciriaco, Patrick Raymond Abad, Von Eagan Capistrano, Gino Miguel Cruz, Louie Christopher Darang, Dennis Myles Del Rosario, James Austin Gadgad, Jason Pagalanan, Adrian Palaylay, Froi Jovanni Perez, Christian Philip Torres

It remains unknown what students from medical schools in the Philippines, such as the School of Medicine at Saint Louis University in the Cordilleras, know and feel about climate change, an important issue in this ecological region of the country.
To determine the knowledge and attitudes of future physicians towards climate change.
Pre-pandemic, we conducted a paper survey among first and second year medical students, adapting questionnaires from previous studies: (1) Americans’ Knowledge of Climate Change by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication; and (2) Attitudes about Global Warming based on the 4th Assessment Report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A pretest was done to ensure respondents’ understanding of the questions. Sample size was computed at 176, and random sampling was done.
We obtained a 100% response rate. The respondents were mostly females, <23 years old, in the first year of medical school, and had graduated from Nursing. The majority had fair (score: 20–39%) to good (score: 40–59%) knowledge of climate change. The respondents generally showed favorable attitudes (mean score: 3.76 out of 5.00) towards the issue, indicating they may be more likely to express willingness to take action. No significant differences in knowledge and attitudes were found across the demographic variables (p>0.05).
The respondents generally showed favorable attitudes towards climate change, although their knowledge on the topic could still be improved. Our study may serve as a basis for developing strategies towards a socially responsive medical education within the Philippines.