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Disaster Preparedness in Rural Families of Children With Special Health Care Needs

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 January 2016

Cara J. Hamann
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Elizabeth Mello
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology and Injury Prevention Research Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Hongqian Wu
Affiliation:
Department of Biostatistics and Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Jingzhen Yang
Affiliation:
Center for Injury Research and Policy, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio
Debra Waldron
Affiliation:
Division of Services for Children with Special Healthcare Needs, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, Rockville, Maryland
Marizen Ramirez
Affiliation:
Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Research Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Injury Prevention Research Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Objective

The purpose of this study was to describe disaster preparedness strategies and behaviors among rural families who have children with special health care needs and to examine the effect of self-efficacy and response-efficacy on disaster preparedness.

Methods

Data for this study were drawn from the baseline surveys of 287 rural families with children with special health care needs who were part of a randomized controlled trial examining the impact of an intervention on disaster preparedness. Distributions of child, parent, and family characteristics were examined by preparedness. Linear regression models were built to examine the impact of self-efficacy and response-efficacy on level of disaster preparedness.

Results

Disaster preparedness (overall, emergency plan, discussion/practice, and supplies) was low (40.9-69.7%) among study families. Disaster preparedness was found to increase with each unit increase in the level of self-efficacy and family resilience sources across all 4 categories of preparedness.

Conclusions

Disaster preparedness among rural families with children with special health care needs is low, which is concerning because these children may have increased vulnerability to adverse outcomes compared to the general population. Results suggest that increasing the levels of self-efficacy and family resilience sources may increase disaster preparedness. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2016;10:225–232)

Type
Original Research
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc. 2016 

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