In the health sector, it has become clear that staff who feel better supported deliver better care. Can disaster management learn from this drive to ensure compassionate care to avoid the perils of burnout and empathy exhaustion?
Introduction: Over the last quarter of a century the frequency of natural disasters and the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) across the globe have been increasing. For individuals susceptible to, or chronically experiencing, NCDs this has become a significant risk. Disasters jeopardize access to essential treatment, care, equipment, water and food, which can result in an exacerbation of existing conditions or even preventable death. Consequently, there is a need to expand the public health focus of disaster management to include NCDs. To provide a platform for this to occur, this article presents the results from a systematic review that identifies and describes the impact of cyclone, flood and storm related disasters on those susceptible to, or experiencing, NCDs. The NCDs researched were: cardiovascular diseases; cancers; chronic respiratory diseases; and diabetes.
Methods: Four electronic publication databases were searched with a date limit of 31 December 2014. The data was analyzed through an aggregation of individual papers to create an overall data description. The data was then grouped by disease to describe the impact of a disaster on treatment management, exacerbation, and health care of people with NCDs. The PRISMA checklist was used to guide presentation of the research.
Results: The review identified 48 relevant articles. All studies represented developed country data. Disasters interrupt treatment management and overall care for people with NCDs, which results in an increased risk of exacerbation of their illness or even death. The interruption may be caused by a range of factors, such as damaged transport routes, reduced health services, loss of power and evacuations. The health impact varied according to the NCD. For people with chronic respiratory diseases, a disaster increases the risk of acute exacerbation. Meanwhile, for people with cancer, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes there is an increased risk of their illness exacerbating, which can result in death.
Conclusion: Cyclone, flood and storm related disasters impact on treatment management and care for people with NCDs. Possible consequences include exacerbation of illness, complications or even death. There is now a need to expand traditional disaster approaches by public health to incorporate NCDs. This must be guided by the major NCDs identified by the World Health Organization and implemented in-line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: 2015-2030. This includes understanding all the factors that influence both direct and indirect (preventable) morbidity and mortality related to NCDs during and after disasters. Once achieved, disaster planners and public health professionals will be in a position to develop and implement effective mitigation strategies.
Aim: Evaluating hospital disaster preparedness is one the best ways for hospital accreditation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the quality of outcome measure that offer the level of measurement, reliability and validity that are known as the ‘ psychometric properties’ of the current hospital disaster preparedness tools.
Methods: In total, 140 studies were retrieved. Studies which had been published from 2000 to 2014 and had used hospital disaster preparedness tools were appraised by using the PRISMA guideline. The content quality and the quality of the psychometric properties of the retrieved tools were assessed by using the World Health Organization Criteria for Hospital Preparedness as well as the COSMIN criteria.
Findings: Only 33 studies met the inclusion criteria. In total, eleven hospital disaster preparedness tools had been used in these 33 studies. These tools mainly focused on evaluating structural and non-structural aspects of hospital preparedness and paid little attention, if any, to the key functional aspect.
Conclusion: Given the paramount importance of evaluating hospital disaster preparedness and the weaknesses of current preparedness evaluation tools, valid and reliable tools should be developed by using experts’ knowledge and experience through the processes of tool development and psychometric evaluation.
Keywords: Hospital preparedness, Measurement tool, Disaster, Systematic review
Introduction: The October 2005, Kashmir earthquake main event was triggered along the Balakot-Bagh Fault which runs from Bagh to Balakot, and caused more damages in and around these areas. Major landslides were activated during and after the earthquake inflicting large damages in the area, both in terms of infrastructure and casualties. These landslides were mainly attributed to the minimum threshold of the earthquake, geology of the area, climatologic and geomorphologic conditions, mudflows, widening of the roads without stability assessment, and heavy rainfall after the earthquake. These landslides were mainly rock and debris falls. Hattian Bala rock avalanche was largest landslide associated with the earthquake which completely destroyed a village and blocked the valley creating a lake.
Discussion: The present study shows that the fault rupture and fault geometry have direct influence on the distribution of landslides and that along the rupture zone a high frequency band of landslides was triggered. There was an increase in number of landslides due to 2005 earthquake and its aftershocks and that most of earthquakes have occurred along faults, rivers and roads. It is observed that the stability of landslide mass is greatly influenced by amplitude, frequency and duration of earthquake induced ground motion. Most of the slope failures along the roads resulted from the alteration of these slopes during widening of the roads, and seepages during the rainy season immediately after the earthquake.
Conclusion: Landslides occurred mostly along weakly cemented and indurated rocks, colluvial sand and cemented soils. It is also worth noting that fissures and ground crack which were induced by main and after shock are still present and they pose a major potential threat for future landslides in case of another earthquake activity or under extreme weather conditions.
The unique context of day-to-day living for people who are chronically homeless or living with housing insecurity puts them at high risk during community disasters. The impacts of extreme events, such as flooding, storms, riots, and other sources of community disruption, underscore the importance of preparedness efforts and fostering community resilience. This study is part of larger initiative focused on enhancing resilience and preparedness among high risk populations. The purpose of this study was to explore critical issues and strategies to promote resilience and disaster preparedness among people who are homeless in Canada. A sample of interviews (n=21) from key informants across Canada was analyzed to explore existing programs and supports for homeless populations. The data was selected from a larger sample of (n=43) interviews focused on programs and supports for people who are at heightened risk for negative impacts during disasters. Qualitative content analysis was used to extract emergent themes and develop a model of multi-level collaboration to support disaster resilience among people who are homeless. The results indicate there is a need for more upstream continuity planning, collaboration and communication between the emergency management sector and community service organizations that support people who are homeless. Prioritization and investment in the social determinants of health and community supports is necessary to promote resilience among this high-risk population. The findings from this study highlight the importance of acknowledging community support organizations as assets in disaster preparedness. Day-to-day resilience is an ongoing theme for people who are chronically homeless or living with housing insecurity. Upstream investment to build adaptive capacity and collaborate with community organizations is an important strategy to enhance community resilience.
Disaster education needs innovative educational methods to be more effective compared to traditional approaches. This can be done by using virtual simulation method. This article presents an experience about using virtual simulation methods to teach health professional on disaster medicine in Iran.
The workshop on the “Application of New Technologies in Disaster Management Simulation” was held in Tehran in January 2015. It was co-organized by the Disaster and Emergency Health Academy of Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Emergency and the Research Center in Disaster Medicine and Computer Science applied to Medicine (CRIMEDIM), Università del Piemonte Orientale. Different simulators were used by the participants, who were from the health system and other relevant fields, both inside and outside Iran.
As a result of the workshop, all the concerned stakeholders are called on to support this new initiative of incorporating virtual training and exercise simulation in the field of disaster medicine, so that its professionals are endowed with field-based and practical skills in Iran and elsewhere.
Virtual simulation technology is recommended to be used in education of disaster management. This requires capacity building of instructors, and provision of technologies. International collaboration can facilitate this process. Keywords: Virtual simulation, disaster management, education, training, Iran
Correction The affiliation for the first author is incorrect. The complete, correct affiliation is: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine Centre, Department of Surgery, Sahlgrenska Academy, Gothenburg University, Gothenburg, Sweden; Faculty of Shiraz University of Medical sciences, Shiraz, Iran. Reference Peyravi M, Örtenwall P, Khorram-Manesh A. Can Medical Decision-making at the Scene by EMS Staff Reduce the […]
Background: Preparedness for disasters and emergencies at individual, community and organizational levels could be more effective tools in mitigating (the growing incidence) of disaster risk and ameliorating their impacts. That is, to play more significant roles in disaster risk reduction (DRR). Preparedness efforts focus on changing human behaviors in ways that reduce people’s risk and increase their ability to cope with hazard consequences. While preparedness initiatives have used behavioral theories to facilitate DRR, many theories have been used and little is known about which behavioral theories are more commonly used, where they have been used, and why they have been preferred over alternative behavioral theories. Given that theories differ with respect to the variables used and the relationship between them, a systematic analysis is an essential first step to answering questions about the relative utility of theories and providing a more robust evidence base for preparedness components of DRR strategies. The goal of this systematic review was to search and summarize evidence by assessing the application of behavioral theories to disaster and emergency health preparedness across the world.
Methods: The protocol was prepared in which the study objectives, questions, inclusion and exclusion criteria, and sensitive search strategies were developed and pilot-tested at the beginning of the study. Using selected keywords, articles were searched mainly in PubMed, Scopus, Mosby’s Index (Nursing Index) and Safetylit databases. Articles were assessed based on their titles, abstracts, and their full texts. The data were extracted from selected articles and results were presented using qualitative and quantitative methods.
Results: In total, 2040 titles, 450 abstracts and 62 full texts of articles were assessed for eligibility criteria, whilst five articles were archived from other sources, and then finally, 33 articles were selected. The Health Belief Model (HBM), Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM), Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) and Social Cognitive Theories were most commonly applied to influenza (H1N1 and H5N1), floods, and earthquake hazards. Studies were predominantly conducted in USA (13 studies). In Asia, where the annual number of disasters and victims exceeds those in other continents, only three studies were identified. Overall, the main constructs of HBM (perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and barriers), EPPM (higher threat and higher efficacy), TPB (attitude and subjective norm), and the majority of the constructs utilized in Social Cognitive Theories were associated with preparedness for diverse hazards. However, while all the theories described above describe the relationships between constituent variables, with the exception of research on Social Cognitive Theories, few studies of other theories and models used path analysis to identify the interdependence relationships between the constructs described in the respective theories/models. Similarly, few identified how other mediating variables could influence disaster and emergency preparedness.
Conclusions: The existing evidence on the application of behavioral theories and models to disaster and emergency preparedness is chiefly from developed countries. This raises issues regarding their utility in countries, particularly in Asisa and the Middle East, where cultural characteristics are very different to those prevailing in the Western countries in which theories have been developed and tested. The theories and models discussed here have been applied predominantly to disease outbreaks and natural hazards, and information on their utility as guides to preparedness for man-made hazards is lacking. Hence, future studies related to behavioral theories and models addressing preparedness need to target developing countries where disaster risk and the consequent need for preparedness is high. A need for additional work on demonstrating the relationships of variables and constructs, including more clearly articulating roles for mediating effects was also identified in this analysis.
This research aims to understand the organizational network typology of large-scale disaster intervention in developing countries and to understand the complexity of post-disaster intervention, through the use of network theory based on empirical data from post-tsunami reconstruction in Aceh, Indonesia, during 2005/2007. The findings suggest that the ‘ degrees of separation’ (or network diameter) between any two organizations in the field is 5, thus reflecting ‘small world’ realities and therefore making no significant difference with the real human networks, as found in previous experiments. There are also significant loops in the network reflecting the fact that some actors tend to not cooperate, which challenges post disaster coordination. The findings show the landscape of humanitarian actors is not randomly distributed. Many actors were connected to each other through certain hubs, while hundreds of actors make ‘scattered’ single ‘principal-client’ links. The paper concludes that by understanding the distribution of degree, centrality, ‘degrees of separation’ and visualization of the network, authorities can improve their understanding of the realities of coordination, from macro to micro scales.
Introduction: An earlier descriptive study exploring the various supports available to Canadian health and social service providers who deployed to the 2010 earthquake disaster in Haiti, indicated that when systems are compromised, professionals are at physical, emotional and mental risk during overseas deployment. While these risks are generally well-identified, there is little literature that explores the effectiveness of the supports in place to mitigate this risk. This study provides evidence to inform policy development regarding future disaster relief, and the effectiveness of supports available to responders assisting with international disaster response.
Methods: This study follows Strauss and Corbin’s 1990 structured approach to grounded theory to develop a framework for effective disaster support systems. N=21 interviews with Canadian health and social service providers, who deployed to Haiti in response to the 2010 earthquake, were conducted and analyzed. Resulting data were transcribed, coded and analysed for emergent themes.
Results and Discussion: Three themes were identified in the data and were used to develop the evolving theory. The interview data indicate that the experiences of responders are determined based on an interaction between the individual’s ‘lens’ or personal expectations, as well as the supports that an organization is able to provide. Therefore, organizations should consider the following factors: experience, expectations, and supports, to tailor a successful support initiative that caters to the needs of the volunteer workforce.