Cross-sectional survey of the disaster preparedness of nurses across the Asia–Pacific region

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Abstract

Healthcare workers who have received disaster preparedness education are more likely to report a greater understanding of disaster preparedness. However, research indicates that current nursing curricula do not adequately prepare nurses to respond to disasters. This is the first study to assess Asia–Pacific nurses' perceptions about their level of disaster knowledge, skills, and preparedness. A cross-sectional survey was conducted with 757 hospital and community nurses in seven Asia–Pacific countries. Data were collected using the modified Disaster Preparedness Evaluation Tool. Participants were found to have overall low-to-moderate levels of disaster knowledge, skills and preparedness, wherein important gaps were identified. A majority of the variance in disaster preparedness scores was located at the level of the individual respondent, not linked to countries or institutions. Multilevel random effects modelling identified disaster experience and education as significant factors of positive perceptions of disaster knowledge, skills, and management. The first step toward disaster preparedness is to ensure frontline health workers are able to respond effectively to disaster events. The outcomes of this study have important policy and education implications.

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