Correlation between climate change and dysphoria in primary care

Jonathan L. Temte, John R. Holzhauer, Kenneth P. Kushner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Concern about climate change may affect mental health. We evaluated the relationship between primary care patients' attitudes toward climate change and dysphoria.

METHODS: In 2013, we surveyed 571 adult primary care patients in southern Wisconsin. Attitudes toward climate change were measured using a 46-point composite of 9 questions. Dysphoria was measured using a 13-point composite summing the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2) and the Generalized Anxiety Disorder scale (GAD-2).

RESULTS: Patients frequently reported concern about climate change and 22.5% experienced dysphoria. A significant, positive correlation existed between the composite climate change score and the dysphoria score (rs=0.345; P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Primary care patients are concerned about climate change and this concern is positively related to dysphoria. The level to which dysphoria is due to climate change should be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalWisconsin medical journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Summer Student Research and Clinical Assistantship program at University of Wisconsin, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health contributed financial support to this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Wisconsin Medical Society.


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