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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.
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.
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.
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)
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