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Public Health. 2010 Jun;124(6):339-44. doi: 10.1016/j.puhe.2010.02.020. Epub 2010 Apr 7.

Improving emergency preparedness capability of rural public health personnel in China.

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  • 1Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Public Health, Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, PR China.



Since the outbreaks of severe acute respiratory syndrome and avian influenza, improving the emergency preparedness capability of rural public health personnel has become a new priority in building the infrastructure needed to address public health emergencies. The Chinese Government has carried out a series of emergency preparedness education and training programmes to improve the emergency preparedness capability of rural public health personnel nationwide. The purpose of this study was to evaluate and develop a participatory emergency preparedness training programme for rural public health personnel.


The research emphasizes the major components of instructional design, including assessing, designing, delivering and evaluating training. The approach is an integrated system with results from one phase influencing the next, so that a series of steps are followed when developing, implementing and evaluating emergency preparedness training.


The 226 participants were rural public health personnel from 84 different rural centres for disease control and prevention in China. The programme was evaluated by anonymous questionnaires and semi-structured interviews held prior to training, immediately post-training and 12-months after training (follow-up).


The emergency preparedness training resulted in positive shifts in knowledge and skills for rural public health personnel. At follow-up, the knowledge and skill scores of participants declined slightly compared with the post-test levels (P>0.05). However, there was a significant increase compared with the pre-test levels (P<0.01). Moreover, more than 90% of participants reported that this training provided a valuable learning experience and reinforced the importance of emergency preparedness.


The emergency preparedness training programme was effective and feasible in improving the performance of rural public health personnel on emergency response. Further studies are needed to test the efficacy of the training approach for competency improvement.

Crown Copyright 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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