Do nursing professionals have the necessary skills to care for older people at climate risk?

“Climate change constitutes a very serious threat to human health” (WHO, 2021). This irrevocable fact becomes evident as meteorological and climate phenomena such as extreme heat, floods or droughts become more frequent and intense, directly and indirectly affecting health.

People over 65 years of age are among the most vulnerable groups due, among other reasons, to the fact that the aging process conditions their response to the effects of climate change. This translates into increased mortality, morbidity from non-communicable diseases and the spread of infectious diseases in said population group. To understand in depth how the health of older people is affected by climate change, a scoping review has been developed that provides an updated analysis of the available scientific evidence and whose protocol is published in the journal BMJ Open(Montoro-Ramírez EM, Parra-Anguita L, Álvarez-Nieto C, et al. Effects of climate change in the elderly’s health: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open 2022;12:e058063. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-058063)

Associations such as ICN (International Council of Nurses), ANA (American Nurse Association) or CNA (Canadian Nurses Association) call health workers to action to actively fight against climate change and prevent its effects on the most vulnerable groups. Therefore, nursing professionals must have the necessary skills to improve the response of the elderly population at climate risk. With the purpose of measuring these competencies in health professionals and nursing students, a Nursing Competencies Questionnaire on the Effects of Climate Change on the Health of Older People, EEH-NCQ (Elderly’s Environmental Health Nursing Competencies Questionnaire), is being developed. Currently, the questionnaire composed of three scales (knowledge, skills and attitudes) is in the process of psychometric validation. If you are a healthcare worker, we ask for your collaboration by filling out the questionnaire in the following link:  or by scanning the QR code:

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