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Terrorism and natural catastrophes have made disaster preparedness a critical issue. Despite the documented vulnerabilities of children during and following disasters, gaps remain in health care systems regarding pediatric disaster preparedness. This research study examined changes in knowledge acquisition of pediatric disaster preparedness among medical and non-medical personnel at a children’s hospital who completed an online training course of five modules: planning, triage, age-specific care, disaster management, and hospital emergency code response.
A multi-disciplinary team within the Pediatric Disaster Resource and Training Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (Los Angeles, California USA) developed an online training course. Available archival course data from July 2009 to August 2012 were analyzed through linear growth curve multi-level modeling, with module total score as the outcome (0 to 100 points), attempt as the Level 1 variable (any module could be repeated), role in the hospital (medical or non-medical) as the Level 2 variable, and attempt by role as the cross-level effect.
A total of 44,115 module attempts by 5,773 course participants (3,686 medical personnel and 2,087 non-medical personnel) were analyzed. The average module total score upon first attempt across all participants ranged from 60.28 to 80.11 points, and participants significantly varied in how they initially scored. On average in the planning, triage, and age-specific care modules: total scores significantly increased per attempt across all participants (average rate of change ranged from 0.59 to 1.84 points) and medical personnel had higher total scores initially and through additional attempts (average difference ranged from 13.25 to 16.24 points). Cross-level effects were significant in the disaster management and hospital emergency code response modules: on average, total scores were initially lower among non-medical personnel compared to medical personnel, but non-medical personnel increased their total scores per attempt by 3.77 points in the disaster management module and 6.40 points in the hospital emergency code response module, while medical personnel did not improve their total scores through additional attempts.
Medical and non-medical hospital personnel alike can acquire knowledge of pediatric disaster preparedness. Key content can be reinforced or improved through successive training in an online course.
PhamPK, BeharSM, BergBM, UppermanJS, NagerAL. Pediatric Online Disaster Preparedness Training for Medical and Non-Medical Personnel: A Multi-Level Modeling AnalysisPrehosp Disaster Med.2018;33(4):349–354.