Pediatric Disaster Simulation and Parents with a Physical Disability (1090-004000) (Research Abstract Oral: Other)
Start time: Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 9:30 AM End time: Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 9:30 AM Session Type: Research Abstracts (Completed Studies)
A manmade or natural disaster poses many threats to society as a whole. Pediatric patients are at high risk in disasters due to their anatomic, physiologic and psychological differences. In addition, children typically need a guardian or parent to accompany them to seek medical care – a task made more difficult in the context of a disaster. Members of society who have physical disabilities are also challenged in times of crisis, and caregivers who have physical disabilities can be increasingly disadvantaged while seeking medical care for their children. To begin to understand the potential challenges of caregivers with disabilities during a disaster, we invited community members with physical disabilities to participate in a large-scale in-situ disaster simulation.
A large-scale, city-wide in-situ disaster simulation occurred in 2018. All hospital personnel were encouraged to participate. Prior to the simulation, eight community members, each with a physical disability, participated in a focus group to identify anticipated challenges they would face in a disaster. Four focus group participants then participated in the disaster simulation as parents/grandparents of affected pediatric patients, the hot debrief immediately following the simulation and a “cold” debrief three weeks after the simulation activity. All recordings from focus groups and debriefings were transcribed and analyzed using fundamental qualitative description designed to achieve descriptive validity.
Audio data analysis of the initial focus group identified two macro themes of anticipated challenges: (1) communication difficulties and (2) lack of access to care. Subsequently, the cold debrief revealed two macro-level themes; (1) difficulty for healthcare personnel to identify certain physical disabilities (hearing and visual impairment) and (2) communication challenges with the medical team and the simulated parents/grandparents.
Multiple challenges were identified in caring for patients with family members who have a physical disability in the context of disasters. These challenges identify the need to improve rapid identification of communication challenges in patients and family members with disabilities as well as improve effective communication when caring for their loved one.