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Mobile applications, or apps, have gained widespread use with the advent of modern smartphone technologies. Previous research has been conducted in the use of mobile devices for learning. However, there is decidedly less research into the use of mobile apps for health learning (eg, patient self-monitoring, medical student learning). This deficiency in research on using apps in a learning context is especially severe in the disaster health field. The objectives of this article were to provide an overview of the current state of disaster health apps being used for learning, to situate the use of apps in a health learning context, and to adapt a learning framework for the use of mobile apps in the disaster health field. A systematic literature review was conducted by using the PRISMA checklist, and peer-reviewed articles found through the PubMed and CINAHL databases were examined. This resulted in 107 nonduplicative articles, which underwent a 3-phase review, culminating in a final selection of 17 articles. While several learning models were identified, none were sufficient as an app learning framework for the field. Therefore, we propose a learning framework to inform the use of mobile apps in disaster health learning. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2017;11:487–495)
The National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (NCDMPH), in collaboration with over 20 subject matter experts, created a competency-based curriculum titled Caring for Older Adults in Disasters: A Curriculum for Health Professionals. Educators and trainers of health professionals are the target audience for this curriculum. The curriculum was designed to provide breadth of content yet flexibility for trainers to tailor lessons, or select particular lessons, for the needs of their learners and organizations. The curriculum covers conditions present in the older adult population that may affect their disaster preparedness, response, and recovery; issues related to specific types of disasters; considerations for the care of older adults throughout the disaster cycle; topics related to specific settings in which older adults receive care; and ethical and legal considerations. An excerpt of the final capstone lesson is included. These capstone activities can be used in conjunction with the curriculum or as part of stand-alone preparedness training. This article describes the development process, elements of each lesson, the content covered, and options for use of the curriculum in education and training for health professionals. The curriculum is freely available online at the NCDMPH website at http://ncdmph.usuhs.edu (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:633–637).
We trained local public health workers on disaster recovery roles and responsibilities by using a novel curriculum based on a threat and efficacy framework and a training-of-trainers approach. This study used qualitative data to assess changes in perceptions of efficacy toward Hurricane Sandy recovery and willingness to participate in future disaster recoveries.
Purposive and snowball sampling were used to select trainers and trainees from participating local public health departments in jurisdictions impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. Two focus groups totaling 29 local public health workers were held in April and May of 2015. Focus group participants discussed the content and quality of the curriculum, training logistics, and their willingness to engage in future disaster recovery efforts.
The training curriculum improved participants’ understanding of and confidence in their disaster recovery work and related roles within their agencies (self-efficacy); increased their individual- and agency-level sense of role-importance in disaster recovery (response-efficacy); and enhanced their sense of their agencies’ effective functioning in disaster recovery. Participants suggested further training customization and inclusion of other recovery agencies.
Threat- and efficacy-based disaster recovery trainings show potential to increase public health workers’ sense of efficacy and willingness to participate in recovery efforts. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:615–622)
We aimed to quantitatively gauge local public health workers’ perceptions toward disaster recovery role expectations among jurisdictions in New Jersey and Maryland affected by Hurricane Sandy.
An online survey was made available in 2014 to all employees in 8 Maryland and New Jersey local health departments whose jurisdictions had been impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012. The survey included perceptions of their actual disaster recovery involvement across 3 phases: days to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years. The survey also queried about their perceptions about future involvement and future available support.
Sixty-four percent of the 1047 potential staff responded to the survey (n=669). Across the 3 phases, 72% to 74% of the pre-Hurricane Sandy hires knew their roles in disaster recovery, 73% to 75% indicated confidence in their assigned roles (self-efficacy), and 58% to 63% indicated that their participation made a difference (response efficacy). Of the respondents who did not think it likely that they would be asked to participate in future disaster recovery efforts (n=70), 39% indicated a willingness to participate.
The marked gaps identified in local public health workers’ awareness of, sense of efficacy toward, and willingness to participate in disaster recovery efforts after Hurricane Sandy represent a significant infrastructural concern of policy and programmatic relevance. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:371–377)
The local public health agency (LPHA) workforce is at the center of the public health emergency preparedness system and is integral to locally driven disaster recovery efforts. Throughout the disaster recovery period, LPHAs have a primary responsibility for community health and are responsible for a large number of health services. In the face of decreasing preparedness funding and increasing frequency and severity of disasters, LPHAs continue to provide essential disaster life cycle services to their communities. However, little is known about the confidence that LPHA workers have in performing disaster recovery-related duties. To date, there is no widely used instrument to measure LPHA workers’ sense of efficacy, nor is there an educational intervention designed specifically to bolster disaster recovery-phase efficacy perceptions. Here, we describe the important role of the LPHA workforce in disaster recovery and the operational- and efficacy-related research gaps inherent in today’s disaster recovery practices. We then propose a behavioral framework that can be used to examine LPHA workers’ disaster recovery perceptions and suggest a research agenda to enhance LPHA workforce disaster recovery efficacy through an evidence-informed educational intervention. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2015;9:403–408)
Disaster health workers currently have no common standard based on a shared set of competencies, learning objectives, and performance metrics with which to develop courses or training materials relevant to their learning audience. We examined how existing competency sets correlate within the 2012 pyramidal learning framework of competency sets in disaster medicine and public health criteria and describe how this exercise can guide curriculum developers.
We independently categorized 35 disaster health-related competency sets according to the 4 levels and criteria of the pyramidal learning framework of competency sets in disaster medicine and public health.
Using the hierarchical learning framework of competency sets in disaster medicine and public health criteria as guidance, we classified with consistency only 10 of the 35 competency sets.
The proposed series of minor modifications to the framework should allow for consistent classification of competency sets. Improved education and training of all health professionals is a necessary step to ensuring that health system responders are appropriately and adequately primed for their role in disasters. Revising the organizing framework should assist disaster health educators in selecting competencies appropriate to their learning audience and identify gaps in current education and training. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;8:70-78)
To standardize the key building blocks of disaster health competency models (content, structure, and process), we recommend a reinterpretation of the research, development, test, and evaluation construct (RDT&E) as a novel organizing framework for creating and presenting disaster health competency models. This approach seeks to foster national alignment of disaster health competencies. For scope and completeness, model developers should consider the need and identify appropriate content in at least 4 broad areas: disaster-type domain, systems domain, clinical domain, and public health domain. The whole disaster health competency model should reflect the challenges of the disaster setting to acknowledge the realities of disaster health practice and to shape the education and workforce development flowing from the model. Additional issues for consideration are whether competency models should address response and recovery just-in-time learning and whether the concept of “daily routine doctrine” can contribute to disaster health competency models. The recommendations seek to establish a strategic reference point for disaster competency model alignment within the health workforce.(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2013;7:8-12)
Effective preparedness, response, and recovery from disasters require a well-planned, integrated effort with experienced professionals who can apply specialized knowledge and skills in critical situations. While some professionals are trained for this, others may lack the critical knowledge and experience needed to effectively perform under stressful disaster conditions. A set of clear, concise, and precise training standards that may be used to ensure workforce competency in such situations has been developed. The competency set has been defined by a broad and diverse set of leaders in the field and like-minded professionals through a series of Web-based surveys and expert working group meetings. The results may provide a useful starting point for delineating expected competency levels of health professionals in disaster medicine and public health.
(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:44–52)