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Separated After a Disaster: Trust and Privacy Issues in Sharing Children’s Personal Information

  • Rachel L. Charney (a1), Terri Rebmann (a2), Flavio Esposito (a3), Kristin Schmid (a4) and Sarita Chung (a5)...

Abstract

Background:

After disasters, unaccompanied children may present to an emergency department requiring reunification. An effective reunification system depends on the willingness of guardians to utilize it.

Objective:

Assess guardian willingness to share children’s personal information for reunification purposes after a disaster, perceived concerns and beliefs, and trust in reunification agencies.

Methods:

Guardians of children presenting to 2 pediatric emergency departments were approached to participate in a survey-based study. Willingness to share their children’s personal information was scored on a scale of 1 to 19 (1 point per item). Perceived concerns about and importance of sharing information, level of trust in reunification agencies, and guardian demographics were collected. Chi-square was used to compare trust and attitudes/beliefs. Multivariate linear regression was used to determine factors associated with willingness to share information.

Results:

A total of 363 surveys were completed (response rate, 80%). Most guardians (95.6%) were willing to share at least some information (mean, 16 items; range, 1-19). Half were concerned about protection (55.4%) or abuse (52.3%) of their child’s information. Hospitals were trusted more than other reunification agencies (P < .001). Perception of reunification importance was associated with willingness to share (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Guardians are willing to share their children’s information to facilitate reunification after disasters, but have privacy concerns.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Rachel Charney,1465 S Grand Boulevard, St Louis, MO 63127 (e-mail: rachel.charney@health.slu.edu).

References

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Separated After a Disaster: Trust and Privacy Issues in Sharing Children’s Personal Information

  • Rachel L. Charney (a1), Terri Rebmann (a2), Flavio Esposito (a3), Kristin Schmid (a4) and Sarita Chung (a5)...

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