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Methodological considerations should be discussed within the context of emergency medical services (EMS) and disaster research. The fast pace and the information explosion of the society in which we live open new opportunities for epidemiological research and evaluation of care in disasters. The many methodological considerations necessary to generate useful and valid research is the topic of this article.
I would like to discuss four major issues which raise a series of questions and suggest a variety of alternatives. The four major areas are: (l) the taxonomy required to do this type of research; (2) the elements of care; (3) comparative samples; and (4) planned as opposed to unplanned disasters.