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Am J Disaster Med. 2009 Nov-Dec;4(6):345-51.

Perceived barriers of non-U.S. healthcare providers to responding during mass casualty incidents.

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School of Nursing, Loma Linda University, California, USA.


Nurses and other healthcare providers (HCPs) have a long history of providing care during extreme emergencies, disasters, or mass casualty incidents (MCIs). Surveys have been conducted in U.S. metropolitan areas to determine the ability and willingness of HCP to respond to an MCIs. Various barriers were identified in those studies. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions and attitudes of HCPs in other countries and cultures to barriers they may have in their ability or willingness to respond during an MCI. The study participants were 42 nurses completing their master's degree, representing 26 different countries and territories, and they were assigned to one of eight focus groups based on the location of their country of origin. The findings revealed several themes, the first being that in some countries there were no perceived barriers to either ability or willingness to respond to an MCI. In other countries, the perceived barriers to ability were lack of transportation, staff shortages, equipment shortages, personal illness, and lack of infant care, whereas the perceived barriers to willingness were dimensions of fear and employment status. Cultural differences played a significant role in the ability and willingness of the HCPs to respond to an MCI.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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