Local health departments play a critical role in short-, intermediate-, and long-term recovery activities after a public health emergency. However, research has not explored attitudinal determinants of health department workers' participation in the recovery phase following a disaster. Accordingly, this qualitative investigation aims to understand perceived facilitators and barriers to performing recovery-related activities following Hurricane Sandy among local health department workers. In January 2014, 2 focus groups were conducted in geographically representative clusters of local health departments affected by Hurricane Sandy (1 cluster in Maryland and 1 cluster in New Jersey). Focus groups were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed to qualitatively assess attitudes toward Hurricane Sandy recovery activities. This analysis identified 5 major thematic categories as facilitators and barriers to participation in recovery activities: Training, safety, family preparedness, policies and planning, and efficacy. Systems that support engagement of health department personnel in recovery activities may endeavor to develop and communicate intra- A nd interjurisdictional policies that minimize barriers in these areas. Development and implementation of evidence-informed curricular interventions that explain recovery roles may also increase local health department worker motivation to participate in recovery activities.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Emergency Medicine
- Safety Research
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis