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

Cara J. Hamann, Elizabeth Mello, Hongqian Wu, Jingzhen Yang, Debra Waldron, Marizen Ramirez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

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)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)225-232
Number of pages8
JournalDisaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
Volume10
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

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Keywords

  • children
  • disasters
  • preparedness
  • rural
  • special needs

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