250354 Rapid needs assessments: Utilizing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's CASPER toolkit for a local community health assessment

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ashley Conley, MS, CPH , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Patricia Crooker, MPH , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Victoria Alabi, BA , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Kerran Vigroux, MPH , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Meredith Lyons, BS , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Corinn Dembkoski, MPH , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Angelo Marino, ASA, CNHA , Assessing Office, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Michael Amichetti, BA , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Theresa Calope, RN , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Debbie Daniels, MD, MPH , Division of Public Health & Community Services, City of Nashua, Nashua, NH
Background: The purpose of this study was to conduct an efficient, low-cost, health survey for the City of Nashua's Community Health Assessment and exercise a rapid needs assessment for use in disaster response. Methods: The assessment protocol was based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response. A multistage cluster sampling technique, based on the World Health Organization's Expanded Program on Immunizations, was used to identify thirty randomly selected census block groups and households using the probability proportionate to size method. Seven randomly selected households from each block group were interviewed by teams of volunteers with a thirty-four question health survey. Questions targeted various health and emergency preparedness topics. Data was collected using a paper-based system with Capturx software for Anoto digital pens and analyzed using Epi-Info.ô Maps with a pre-determined, random walking path of each block group were generated using ESRI's ArcGIS software. Volunteers received training on survey methodology, the questionnaire and the maps. Results: Assessment teams approached 833 households and completed 207 surveys for a 25% response rate. Of those, there was contact at 426 households for a 49% cooperation rate. When compared with the 2000 US Census and 2005-2009 American Community Survey, the respondents were similar in age, gender, income and race. Conclusion: The rapid needs assessment successfully gathered health and emergency preparedness data for the community health assessment while training volunteers and exercising the ability to operate this protocol in the event of a disaster.

Learning Areas:
Epidemiology
Other professions or practice related to public health

Learning Objectives:
1.Explain the utility of using the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís CASPER protocol to survey a community during a disaster. 2.Describe the use of the CASPER toolkit in aiding local health assessment and preparedness planning. 3.Discuss results of the health survey that pertain to emergency preparedness. 4.Identify best practices and lessons learned for conducting a rapid needs assessment.

Keywords: Community Health Assessment, Disasters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As the Medical Director for the City of Nashua, Division of Public Health & Community Services, I oversaw the development of the 2010 Community Health Survey. I was instrumental in the design of the questionnaire, review of the protocols and development of plans and tools.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.