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The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) calls for the inclusion of office-based pediatricians in disaster preparedness and response efforts. However, there is little research about disaster preparedness and response on the part of pediatric practices. This study describes the readiness of pediatric practices to respond to disaster and delineates factors associated with increased preparedness.
An AAP survey was distributed to members to assess the state of pediatric offices in readiness for disaster. Potential predictor variables used in chi-square analysis included community setting, primary employment setting, area of practice, and previous disaster experience.
Three-quarters (74%) of respondents reported some degree of disaster preparedness (measured by 6 indicators including written plans and maintaining stocks of supplies), and approximately half (54%) reported response experience (measured by 3 indicators, including volunteering to serve in disaster areas). Respondents who reported disaster preparation efforts were more likely to have signed up for disaster response efforts, and vice versa.
These results contribute information about the state of pediatric physician offices and can aid in developing strategies for augmenting the inclusion of office-based pediatricians in community preparedness and response efforts.