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Multidisciplinary team interaction has become a commonplace phrase in the discussion of disaster response. Theme 6 explored multidisciplinary team interactions and attempted to identify some of the key issues and possible solutions to the seemingly intractable problems inherent in this endeavour.
Details of the methods used are provided in the introductory paper. The Cochairs moderated all presentations and produced a summary that was presented to an assembly of all of the delegates. The Cochairs then presided over a workshop that resulted in the generation of a set of Action Plans that then were reported to the collective group of all delegates.
Main points developed during the presentations and discussion included: (1) promotion of multidisciplinary collaboration, (2) standardization, (3) the Incident Command System, (4) professionalism, (5) regional disparities, and (6) psychosocial impact.
Action plans recommended: (1) a standardized template for Needs Assessment be developed, implemented, and applied using collaboration with international organizations, focusing on needs and criteria appropriate to each type of event, and (2) team needs assessments be recognized for local responses and for determination of when international assistance may be required, for planning a command system, and for evaluating the psychosocial impact.
There is a clear need for the development of standardized methods for the assessment of needs, development and implementation of a command structure, and for appreciation of regional differences and the psychosocial impact of all interventions.