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Examining Roles Pharmacists Assume in Disasters: A Content Analytic Approach

  • Heath Ford (a1), Cham E. Dallas (a2) (a3) and Curt Harris (a2)



Numerous practice reports recommend roles pharmacists may adopt during disasters. This study examines the peer-reviewed literature for factors that explain the roles pharmacists assume in disasters and the differences in roles and disasters when stratified by time.


Quantitative content analysis was used to gather data consisting of words and phrases from peer-reviewed pharmacy literature regarding pharmacists’ roles in disasters. Negative binomial regression and Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric models were applied to the data.


Pharmacists’ roles in disasters have not changed significantly since the 1960s. Pharmaceutical supply remains their preferred role, while patient management and response integration roles decrease in context of common, geographically widespread disasters. Policy coordination roles, however, significantly increase in nuclear terrorism planning.


Pharmacists’ adoption of nonpharmaceutical supply roles may represent a problem of accepting a paradigm shift in nontraditional roles. Possible shortages of personnel in future disasters may change the pharmacists’ approach to disaster management. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:563–572)


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr Heath Ford, South College School of Pharmacy, 400 Goody's Lane, Knoxville, TN 37931 (e-mail


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Examining Roles Pharmacists Assume in Disasters: A Content Analytic Approach

  • Heath Ford (a1), Cham E. Dallas (a2) (a3) and Curt Harris (a2)


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