local weather change and psychological well being in Italy


Italy is arguably probably the most well-liked trip locations all year-round, and significantly throughout the summer season interval. Nonetheless, the state’s environmental blessing is definitely turning right into a local weather curse. Italy is, the truth is, on the epicentre of this soon-to-be hell on Earth. The United Nations Setting Programme (UNEP) states that “the Mediterranean area is warming up 20% sooner than the worldwide common” (UNEP, 2020). This has numerous environmental penalties, together with warmth waves, coastal erosion, fires, floods, acidification of the ocean and invasive species.

Many Italian folks have skilled first-hand one or many of those adversarial outcomes. As reported by Italian broadcast and newspapers, pretty just lately many Northern Italian areas displayed a near-apocalyptic state of affairs, as a heavy storm destroyed numerous buildings and minimize down lots of of timber (RaiNews, 2023). At the opposite finish of the spectrum; scorching heatwaves within the Central and Southern areas of the nation have been sufficient to discourage many individuals from selecting these areas as the best vacation spots (La Repubblica, 2023).

These local weather occasions even have penalties on the bodily well being of individuals, typically with deadly outcomes, similar to within the case of very intense heatwaves and floods. Nonetheless, what has not been sufficiently mentioned is the influence that these occasions have on folks’s psychological well being. Just a few months in the past, we wrote a weblog on a paper by Monsour and colleagues (2022) that discovered an affiliation between local weather change occasions in Florida, United States (US), and the prevalence of psychological well being signs similar to post-traumatic stress dysfunction (PTSD), anxiousness, and main depressive dysfunction. Whereas the local weather disaster is a worldwide disaster, it doesn’t have an effect on each space equally. Nor does it have an effect on all folks in the identical manner. In that gentle, what do the findings within the US inform us about Europe? Can we see the same affiliation, and particularly in at-high threat nations similar to Italy?

Fortunately, Massazza, Ardino and Fioravanzo (2023) helped reply this very related query by reviewing the obtainable literature on the connection between local weather change and psychological well being in Italy. And if you’re questioning “what concerning the different Mediterranean nations similar to Spain, Greece, and Croatia?”, the authors highlighted that the findings of this assessment are prone to apply to these nations, too, as a result of similarities of each setting and local weather.

Italy is one of the European areas majorly hit by the climate crisis due to intense heatwaves and floodings, but their effect on people’s mental health is unclear.

Italy is without doubt one of the European areas majorly hit by the local weather disaster resulting from intense heatwaves and floods, however the impact on folks’s psychological well being is much less clear.


All particulars of the authors’ methodology are summarised as following:

  • Protocol: Lacking.
  • Tips: PRISMA ScR and Joanna Briggs Institute handbook for scoping opinions.
  • Databases: MEDLINE, International Well being, Embase, and PsycINFO (Ovid).
  • Search technique: local weather change and local weather change stressors, psychological well being, and Italy.
  • Screening: AI platform Rayyan for systematic opinions (Ouzzani, Hammady, Fedorowicz, & Elmagarmid, 2016).
  • Inclusion standards: relationship between local weather change and local weather change stressors and psychological well being, Italy, English/Italian language, peer-reviewed
  • High quality: NIH High quality Evaluation Instrument for Case-Management Research and the one for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Research (Nationwide Institute of Well being, 2021).
  • Abstract: narrative synthesis in keeping with kind of local weather publicity.


This assessment included 21 research (from 1997 to 2021), primarily specializing in the northern-centre areas of Italy and Sicily. Most research have been cross-sectional or time-series, whereas the remainder had a case-crossover, case-control, and cohort examine design. Of notice, all however one examine (which used mixed-methods) was quantitative.

The overwhelming majority of the research centered on three end result measures, and for every of those the outcomes have been reported:


  • Excessive mortality charges, particularly in older adults;
  • Suicide makes an attempt (combined outcomes for intercourse and season);
  • Associations with bipolar dysfunction and combined findings with anxiousness, temper problems, and psychosis;
  • Affiliation with improve in psychiatric-related calls in the summertime.

Excessive climate occasions

  • Associations between floods and full and sub-threshold PTSD a number of years after the flood occurred;
  • Consequent fear about future floods.

Local weather change perceptions

  • Weak correlation with emotional problems in African migrants in Italy.

As for the standard of the research, lots of the papers failed to regulate for related confounders, didn’t use applicable measurements for exposures and/or outcomes, and didn’t think about whether or not the analyses had sufficient energy.

Most of the included studies focused on the effects of temperature on mental health including mortality, self-harm and affective disorders.

A lot of the included research centered on the consequences of temperature on psychological well being together with mortality, self-harm and affective problems.


The assessment offers proof that intense temperature and heatwaves characterize an necessary threat issue, threatening the lives of individuals with pre-existing psychological well being points, whereas findings on suicide are much less unanimous. The outcomes on floods and psychological well being, particularly PTSD, corroborate these from current proof.

The findings indicate an association between temperature, extreme weather events, and climate change perceptions with worse mental health.

The findings point out an affiliation between temperature, excessive climate occasions, and local weather change perceptions with worse psychological well being.

Strengths and limitations

This scoping assessment is useful in highlighting the dearth of proof, in addition to the gaps within the present literature from Italy (significantly from the South), regardless of it being one of many essential nations affected by the local weather change in Europe. As an example, the authors rightfully identified that lots of the included research didn’t account for the impact of different variables within the relationship between local weather disaster and psychological well being. Furthermore, these research didn’t cowl different related local weather occasions similar to wildfires, that are more and more widespread within the Mediterranean nations. Of notice, regardless of one of many essential focuses of the assessment being trauma and PTSD, not many papers straight investigated them in relation to the local weather.

Moreover these gaps, we consider that different concerns ought to be made. As an example, all research however one used quantitative information, whereas extra qualitative information would have been informative to know folks’s perspective on local weather change and their psychological well being. Moreover, many research have been carried out in older folks – are we seeing the identical results in youthful samples? And do the outcomes differ relying on different components? On this notice, the examine of Monsour et al. (2022) discovered variations in financial standing and ethnic background – are sure components of the inhabitants additionally extra closely affected by the local weather disaster in Italy? And does this depend upon the variations in inhabitants and wealth distribution, moreover the various panorama? As an example, provided that healthcare infrastructure can mitigate the unfavorable impact of local weather disasters on well being, particular areas which are extra developed is perhaps simpler in mitigating well being points.

There are some considerations concerning the methodology used for this assessment, too. It’s good observe to publish the protocol earlier than continuing with the screening of the research, nonetheless, to our information this doesn’t appear to be one thing the authors have accomplished. Additionally, the authors argue {that a} meta-analysis was not carried out as a result of “research have been too heterogeneous” – provided that 17 out of 21 research centered on temperature, maybe the info may have nonetheless been analysed in a extra systematic manner. Lastly, two research have been included within the assessment as a result of they talked about trauma of their introduction, however it’s unclear whether or not these research offered authentic findings on trauma.

This review highlights that more evidence is needed, as many other questions about climate crisis and mental health remain unanswered.

This assessment highlights that extra proof is required, as many different questions on local weather disaster and psychological well being stay unanswered.

Implications for observe

As talked about, this assessment highlights the dearth of analysis papers specializing in the consequences of the local weather disaster on psychological well being. Equally, it offers additional causes for concern, thus calling for extra analysis on this subject. Much more importantly, we really feel that the findings of such analysis ought to attain different folks moreover lecturers. As an example, it’s essential that an consciousness of the implications of the local weather disaster reaches healthcare professionals, similar to GPs, psychotherapists, and scientific psychologists. Not solely may this assist higher determine the causes of psychological well being issues and their worsening, nevertheless it may additionally result in a greater understanding of the potential penalties of the local weather disaster.

Nonetheless, it goes with out saying that one of the best ways to forestall these adversarial outcomes from occurring is lowering the devastating results of the local weather on the root, similar to by diminishing the influence of fossil gas. As an example, Italy’s fossil gas firm ENI ought to present a number one position within the power transition. In any other case, they’re contributing to the struggling of their very own folks. Moreover, a report from Greenpeace and ReCommon confirmed that ENI already knew within the 1970’s that CO2 contributed to the warming of the planet (Greenpeace & ReCommon, 2023).

The hope is that, by acknowledging the local weather disaster as a well being disaster and, subsequently, additionally a psychological well being disaster, high-risk nations similar to Italy is not going to develop into the centre of steady pure disasters and ever-worsening psychological well being issues.

It is crucial that more awareness is raised towards the consequences of the climate crisis, including poor mental health.

It’s essential that extra consciousness is raised in direction of the implications of the local weather disaster, together with poor psychological well being.

Assertion of pursuits



Main paper

Massazza A, Ardino V, Fioravanzo RE. Local weather change, trauma and psychological well being in Italy: a scoping assessment. Local weather change, trauma and psychological well being in Italy: a scoping assessment. European journal of psychotraumatology. 2022 Jul 29;13(1):2046374.

Different references

Greenpeace & ReCommon. ENI knew. 2023. https://www.greenpeace.org/static/planet4-italy-stateless/2023/09/1771a200-eni_knew_ok.pdf

Monsour M, Clarke-Rubright E, Lieberman-Cribbin W, Timmins C, Taioli E, Schwartz RM, Corley SS, Laucis AM, Morey RA. The influence of local weather change on the prevalence of psychological sickness signs. Journal of Affective Problems. 2022 Mar 1;300:430-40.

Nationwide Institute of Well being. Research high quality evaluation instruments. 2021. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/

Ouzzani M, Hammady H, Fedorowicz Z, Elmagarmid A. Rayyan–an internet and cellular app for systematic opinions. Systematic opinions. 2016 Dec;5:1-0.

RaiNews. 2023. https://rainews.it/maratona/2023/07/tempesta-su-milano-nella-notte-vortici-di-vento-alberi-sradicati-e-case-allagate-623485bc-d7bb-4c07-8094-5fd592697fdc.html

La Repubblica. 2023. https://www.repubblica.it/viaggi/2023/07/18/information/caldo_migrazione_turismo_estivo_verso_nord-408160954/

UNEP. Local weather change within the Mediterranean. 2020. https://www.unep.org/unepmap/sources/factsheets/climate-change

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