Evaluating the efficacy of the AAP “Pediatrics in Disaster” course: The Chinese experience
Keywords:PEDS in disaster, pediatric disaster education, evaluation, efficacy, outcomes, disaster response training, disaster planning training, American Academy of Pediatrics, China
Objective: “Pediatrics in Disasters” (PEDS) is a course designed by the American Academy of Pediatrics to provide disaster preparedness and response training to pediatricians worldwide. China has managed to sustain the course and adapt its content for local needs. China has also experienced several natural disasters since the course’s inception, providing an opportunity to evaluate the impact of courses that took place in Beijing and Sichuan, in 2008-2010.
Methods: We used pretesting/post-testing, participant surveys, and in-depth interviews to evaluate whether the course imparted cognitive knowledge, was perceived as useful, and fostered participation in relief efforts and disaster preparedness planning.
Results: In Beijing and Sichuan, post-test scores were 16 percent higher than pretest scores. On immediate postcourse surveys, 86 percent of Beijing and Sichuan respondents rated the course as very good or excellent. On 6-month surveys, participants identified emotional impact of disasters, planning/triage, and nutrition as the three most useful course modules. Twelve of 75 (16 percent) of Beijing respondents reported direct involvement in disaster response activities following the course; eight of 12 were first-time responders. Participant interviews revealed a need for more training in providing nutritional and psychological support to disaster victims and to train a more diverse group of individuals in disaster response.
Conclusions: PEDS imparts cognitive knowledge and is highly valued by course participants. Emotional impact of disasters, planning/triage, and nutrition modules were perceived as the most relevant modules. Future versions of the course should include additional emphasis on emotional care for disaster victims and should be extended to a broader audience.
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