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Int J Public Health. 2010 Oct;55(5):507-12. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-0110-2. Epub 2009 Dec 18.

German wide cross sectional survey on health impacts of electromagnetic fields in the view of general practitioners.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Bielefeld, Bielefeld, Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The proportion of general practitioners (GPs) in Germany who assume health impacts of electromagnetic fields (EMF) is assessed. Moreover, factors associated with this risk perception are examined.

METHODS:

A 7% random sample was drawn from online lists of all the GPs working in Germany. 1,867 doctors received a long version of a self-administered postal questionnaire about EMF and health (response rate 23.3%), 928 doctors received a short version (response rate 49.1%).

RESULTS:

37.3% of responders to the short and 57.5% of responders to the long questionnaire agreed "that there are persons whose health complaints are caused by EMF when legal limit values are met". A late responder analysis for the survey with the short questionnaire led to a still lower estimate of 29% for GPs believing in health-relevant effects of EMF.

CONCLUSION:

About a third of German GPs associate EMF with health complaints and thus deviate considerably from current scientific knowledge. To avoid a strong selection bias in the surveys of the perception of EMF risks, use of short questionnaires and late responder analysis are recommended.

PMID:
20020175
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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