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Glob Public Health. 2010;5(6):663-75. doi: 10.1080/17441690903473220.

Developing policy options for SARS and SARS-like diseases - a Delphi study.

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Department of Health Promotion Research, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark.


The objective of the SARSControl Delphi study was to develop options for national and international emerging infectious diseases policies. The aim of this paper is to present the results of the study, which gathered expert opinions on gaps and inconsistencies concerning preparedness and response planning for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and SARS-like diseases. The Delphi technique was employed, which comprised a pilot round, two written rounds and a face-to-face meeting. The Delphi panel consisted of 38 experts from 22 countries, who highlighted the necessity to test plans and stressed the importance of surveillance measures for the swift containment of communicable disease outbreaks and the inclusion of detailed triage plans in national pandemic plans. The experts also suggested a need to define criteria for testing pandemic preparedness plans at different regional levels. New policy alternatives were identified, such as the need for generic plans on pandemics and universal access to healthcare during an outbreak. The usefulness of some non-medical interventions, such as bans on travel, could not be established and need further research. Dissemination of the findings will help to bridge gaps and rectify inconsistencies in current pandemic planning and response strategies for SARS and SARS-like diseases, as well as add valuable knowledge towards the development of national and international emerging infectious disease policies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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