Aim: The aim of the study was to investigate the health effect on and adaptation of the elderly affected by floods in the Lat Krabang District, Bangkok, Thailand in 2011.
Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted. Data were collected from 290 elderly participants who were affected by the floods using questionnaires.
Results: The elderly participants had previous experience with flooding, but the massive flooding in 2011 was the most severe compared to any other experiences in the past. Physical health effects included muscle pain (35.2%), athlete’s foot (28.3%), and skin rash (23.1%). The psychological health effects (24.3%) encountered included insomnia, constant stress and tension, attention deficit, and discontentment. Most elderly (89.3%) decided not to relocate thinking they could still live at home, but they were concerned about the safety of their property. In regards to preparation for the flood, they prepared consumer goods, medication, and emergency kits. In addition, they kept abreast with news on television and public announcements in the community. They also helped clear the drainage system and prepared contact information of children, relatives, and government offices in case they needed assistance. Finally, to reduce possible damage to the property, they moved their belongings to high places, built sandbag walls, raised the house level, and prepared a water pump.
Conclusion: The 2011 Thailand floods had adverse effects on physical and psychological health of the elderly people. To ensure better management for this vulnerable group, plans to respond to possible disasters need to be devised by relevant agencies to reduce flood-related health impacts.
Aim: There are increasing numbers of vulnerable flood victims in Thailand, particularly those who require physical assistance with being transferred to safe community programs; however, training programs in safe handling techniques remain scarce. This Thai research intervention study is part of the development aimed at preparing community health leaders (CHLs) to transfer vulnerable groups of flood victims to safer areas during disasters.
Methods: CHLs representing nine flooding areas of the Hat Yai Municipality (n = 37) participated in this study. All had taken part previously in an urban community development project. The safe patient transfer training course was developed by nurses and the outcome measures included: (1) knowledge about patient transfers; (2) skills in lifting and transferring; (3) the use of observation records; and (4) measuring ergonomic lifting techniques. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The results demonstrate that CHLs’ knowledge about safely transferring vulnerable groups of flood victims increased at the end of the program, compared to what is was in the beginning (p < .01). In addition, compared to scores before the intervention, CHLs significantly increased their skills in safe ergonomic lifting techniques (p < .01).
Conclusion: Nurses can take an active role in improving their skills and the skills of community health workers in order to ensure safety for both vulnerable flood victims and volunteer groups when facing natural disasters.
Aim: The eruption of Mount Merapi in Indonesia caused losses, stress, and psychological distress for relocated survivors. Meaning in life is reported to be associated with mental health. This study aimed to investigate the associations among loss, stress related to changes in daily life, meaning in life, and mental health of the relocated survivors.
Methods: A cross-sectional study using convenience sampling was conducted in two relocation areas with people from the most damaged villages. Losses, stress related to changes in daily life, mental health, and meaning in life were assessed using the losses questionnaire, the stress related to changes in daily life questionnaire, the Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ-20) and the Life Attitude Profile-Revised Questionnaire (LAP-R). The Mann–Whitney U-test, Kruskal–Wallis test, Spearman’s rank test and hierarchical multiple regression were performed for data analysis.
Results: Respondents included 172 women and 24 men (mean age = 40.0 years). Nearly one-third of respondents scored seven or more in the SRQ-20, suggesting possible mental health problems. Meaning in life was negatively correlated with stress related to changes in daily life (rs= −0.281, p < 0.001) and mental health problems (rs= −0.259, p < 0.01). However, meaning in life did not significantly contribute to mental health problems after adjusting for loss and stress related to changes in daily life (β = −0.092, p = 0.190).
Conclusions: Meaning in life is negatively correlated with mental health problems and stress related to changes in daily life. Support to help the survivors find meaning in life may alleviate psychological distress related to relocation stress.
Aim: This study identified issues associated with disaster prevention measures in three Educational Nursing Institutions (ENIs) affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011.
Methods: Participants were eight ENI nursing faculty members in the Tohoku region. A qualitative descriptive methodology was utilized using semi-structured interviews. The focus was on the successful aspects of the participants’ actions following the disaster. Disaster prevention issues that were identified were divided into two categories: rehabilitation period and emergency conditions. Categories were classified using the narratives of the eight participants.
Results: Five issues identified in the rehabilitation period were: (1) clarification of the role of schools in the area; (2) communication methods at the time of disaster were not established; (3) emergency equipments were insufficient; (4) the need to review content of disaster prevention training; and (5) failure to utilize the disaster prevention manual adequately. Six issues mentioned in the emergency conditions are as follows: (1) the roles of faculty and staff were not clarified; (2) command and control systems were underdeveloped; (3) evacuation methods were not defined; (4) the safety confirmation system was incomplete; (5) the role of students was unclear due to a lack of infrastructure to adequately support them; and (6) it was difficult to care for the students.
Conclusions: Educational Nursing Institutes should be aware that their institutions could be utilized as evacuation centers following disasters, despite not being designated as such in the regional disaster prevention plan. As a result, ENIs should be prepared to fulfill their role in assisting survivors. In addition, disaster prevention plan should equally balance the business continuity plans for disasters, thus ensuring “student safety and health management”. Also, “measures to resume and continue education” are necessary.
Aim: There is a growing trend globally to incorporate service-learning (SL) into disaster health education. Schools of nursing and other health professions have increasingly used SL to improve nursing students’ knowledge of disaster health while simultaneously bolstering community capacity for disasters. To date, little is known about this topic in Japan, a disaster-prone country. This paper reports on current practices of SL in disaster nursing education in Japan.
Methods: An exploratory qualitative pilot study was conducted using key informant interviews. Participants were recruited from a purposive sample of nurse educators in Japan. Five nurse educators were included in the study. Qualitative data collected from informant interviews were analyzed for themes using qualitative thematic analysis techniques.
Results: Themes extracted from the data included: specific SL activities performed; faculty involvement; perceived benefits for nursing students and recipient communities; and challenges encountered. Participants described an increase in nursing students’ disaster nursing knowledge; skills and abilities; a heightened interest in learning about disaster nursing; and increased awareness of their personal preparedness status and that of their community. Community members also benefitted from students’ efforts.
Conclusions: Results from this pilot study provide baseline knowledge regarding current practices and potential effect of SL disaster nursing education in Japan. Findings from this study may be used to serve as a foundation for further research on this topic. Information from this study may also be used to plan SL activities related to disaster nursing education.
Aim: This study aimed to identify the level of knowledge and perceived skills regarding health-related flood management among 380 village health volunteers (VHVs) living in flood-affected areas in southern Thailand.
Methods: The self-report of Knowledge and Perceived Skill Questionnaires, which was developed based on the risk-reduction planning process of the Community-Based Disaster Risk Management framework, were provided by the VHVs. These two questionnaires were validated and tested for reliability, yielding a correlation coefficient of 0.70 for the Knowledge Questionnaire and 0.96 for the Perceived Skills Questionnaire. Data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics.
Results: The VHVs had a high level of knowledge and a moderate level of perceived skills regarding health-related flood management. Moreover, the area that the VHVs had the highest of both knowledge and skills was related to performing first aid for Athlete’s foot care, whereas the area of the least knowledge was on assessing dwellers’ perception of disaster preparedness, and the lowest skills was in the area of administering first aid for a bone fracture.
Conclusion: These findings can be used as basic information for conducting appropriate disaster management programs to promote VHVs' knowledge and enhance skills, especially health risk management and training in a disaster management plan.
Aim: To synthesize relevant literature specific to disaster vulnerability of elderly and medically frail individuals in the USA and investigate the role of the public health nurse in mitigating the problem.
Methods: Focused review of the literature, including peer-reviewed research, journal articles, news articles, education materials and reports from governmental and senior advocacy groups.
Results: Disaster vulnerability of the elderly and the medically frail is related to sociodemographic factors such as advanced age, low socioeconomic status, female gender, low education and language barriers. The presence of chronic illnesses, deficits in mobility, cognitive, and sensory capacity, reliance on others and devices, lack of social support, and previous experience with disaster also contribute to their vulnerability.
Conclusions: The elderly and the medically frail are highly vulnerable to the negative consequences of disaster. Implications for public health nursing practice before, during and after disaster, as well as nursing research, are highlighted.