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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 5-10

Preparedness among medical rehabilitation professionals for deployment to future disaster settings


1 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne; Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
2 Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital; Department of Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, The University of Melbourne; Australian Rehabilitation Research Centre, Royal Melbourne Hospital; School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Parkville, Victoria, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Su Yi Lee
Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville, Victoria 3052
Australia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jisprm.jisprm_2_20

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Objective: To assess the preparedness among medical rehabilitation professionals for deployment to disaster settings and to establish a rehabilitation professional database for disaster training and deployment under the auspices of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM). Methods: A survey tool for preparedness for deployment to disaster settings was developed by the authors following approval from the Rehabilitation Medicine Society of Australia and New Zealand (RMSANZ) and ISPRM. The link to the online survey was distributed by email to members through the RMSANZ and Central Office of ISPRM. Participants were registered rehabilitation professionals who were members of the RMSANZ and/or ISPRM. The survey was voluntary. Results: Of the 76 respondents, the majority (94%) were rehabilitation physicians, 72% had >10 years of experience in rehabilitation medicine, 63% expressed an interest in future deployment, and only 24% had some disaster management training in the past. Almost all who expressed an interest in deployment wanted to receive any relevant disaster management training and education before deployment; others were interested in potential opportunities and expectations in disaster management, mitigation, communication, team structure, and telemedicine utilization. Conclusion: Surveying a larger cohort of rehabilitation professionals and documentation of context-specific rehabilitation skills relevant to disaster settings are needed. Establishment of a database of rehabilitation professionals, willing to be deployed, should be considered to assist with the integration of the rehabilitation workforce within the World Health Organization Emergency Medical Team Initiative.


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