University of Oulu

Timlin U, Ramage J, Gartler S, Nordström T, Rautio A. Self-Rated Health, Life Balance and Feeling of Empowerment When Facing Impacts of Permafrost Thaw—A Case Study from Northern Canada. Atmosphere. 2022; 13(5):789.

Self-rated health, life balance and feeling of empowerment when facing impacts of permafrost thaw : a case study from Northern Canada

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Author: Timlin, Ulla1; Ramage, Justine2,3; Gartler, Susanna4;
Organizations: 1Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014 Oulu, Finland
2Nordregio, International Research Centre for Regional Development and Planning, 11149 Stockholm, Sweden
3Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University, 11418 Stockholm, Sweden
4Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna, 1010 Vienna, Austria
5Thule Institute, University of Arctic, P.O. Box 7300, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-07-15


Climate warming in Arctic Canada, e.g., permafrost thaw, comprehensively impacts biota and the environment, which then affects the lives of people. This study aimed to investigate which perceived environmental and adaptation factors relate to self-rated well-being, quality of life, satisfaction with life (sum variable = life balance), self-rated health, and feeling of empowerment to face the changes related to permafrost thaw. The study sample was collected from one community using a questionnaire (n = 53) and analyzed by cross-tabulation. Results indicated that most participants had at least good well-being, quality of life, satisfaction with life, and a medium level of health, and over 40% assessed being empowered to face the changes related to permafrost thaw. Problems and challenges associated with permafrost thaw, e.g., health, traditional lifeways, and infrastructure, were recognized; these had impacts on life balance, feeling of empowerment, and self-rated health. Traditional knowledge regarding adaptation to face changes was seen as important. More adaptation actions from the individual to global level seemed to be needed. This study provides an overview of the situation in one area, but more research, with a larger study sample, should be conducted to achieve a deeper understanding of climate-related impacts on life and holistic well-being.

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Series: Atmosphere
ISSN: 2073-4433
ISSN-E: 2073-4433
ISSN-L: 2073-4433
Volume: 13
Issue: 5
Article number: 789
DOI: 10.3390/atmos13050789
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
Funding: This publication is part of the Nunataryuk project. The project has received funding under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program under grant agreement no. 773421.
EU Grant Number: (773421) Nunataryuk - Permafrost thaw and the changing arctic coast: science for socio-economic adaptation
Copyright information: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (