Long-term impacts of a disaster on overall community health: The healthcare provider perspective
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Disaster preparedness and response is becoming a national public health priority, yet few studies describe the effects of a disaster on a community's health from the perspective of healthcare providers. Healthcare providers are often on the front line of disaster response and continue providing healthcare services to victims long after the disaster. The purpose of this study was to assess healthcare providers' perceptions about the long-term impacts of a technological disaster on the health, quality of life, and access to healthcare services of a community. In 2012, data were collected from 30 healthcare providers who provided care at the time of the disaster, worked as a healthcare provider in areas serving the community at the time of the interview, and provided healthcare services to community members impacted by the disaster. Participants completed a 45-minute semi-structured interview and received a $50 incentive for participation. Data were analyzed using NVivo 10. Providers identified negative impacts of the disaster including respiratory and mental health complications, economic displacement, and reduced access to healthcare services as well as positive impacts such as increased community consciousness about health and the physical environment, increased community engagement, and cohesiveness of disaster response personnel. Healthcare providers who serve communities impacted by technological disasters provide a unique perspective to guide disaster preparedness and response efforts. These findings highlight the need to integrate mental health services, initiate interventions targeting social determinants such as employment and living conditions, and provide healthcare services for both immediate and longer-term disaster response.
Public health or related research
Discuss the role of healthcare providers in determining community health needs during the aftermath of a disaster.
Discuss the multi-faceted health needs of communities post-disaster.
Keyword(s): Community Health, Providers
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a research team member for this study and have experience conducting and analyzing qualitative interviews. Qualitative research is among my scientific interests.
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.