Title: Evaluation of emergency preparedness exercises: the design of a questionnaire to measure staff perceptions
Authors: Elena A. Skryabina; Naomi Betts; Gabriel Reedy; Paul Riley; Richard Amlôt
Addresses: Behavioural Science Team, Emergency Response Department Science and Technology, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury,Wiltshire, SP4 0JG, UK ' Behavioural Science Team, Emergency Response Department Science and Technology, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury,Wiltshire, SP4 0JG, UK ' Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, Waterloo Bridge Wing 5.14, London, SE1 8WA, UK ' Emergency Preparedness and Response Support, European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Gustav III: s boulevard 40, 169 73 Solna, Sweden ' Behavioural Science Team, Emergency Response Department Science and Technology, Public Health England, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP4 0JG, UK
Abstract: Evaluation is an essential part of health emergency preparedness exercises (HEPE) that allows identification of limitations in performance. Addressing limitations enhances preparedness. However, there is a lack of reliable and validated tools to assist with exercise evaluation. This study reports the design and validation of a questionnaire to collect data from participants to study their experiences with HEPE and perceptions of their own and their organisation's emergency preparedness. Questionnaire test-retest reliability using ICC was checked (N = 27). Internal reliability using Cronbach's alpha is reported separately for discussion-based (N = 97) and operation-based exercises (N = 238). Analysis checked for discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. The questionnaire consists of four scales (parts): pre-exercise assessment, participant's perceptions, exercise feedback, and satisfaction with the exercise. All scales demonstrated good internal consistency for both exercise types (Cronbach's alpha: 0.672-0.940), but mixed test-retest agreement for the pre-exercise and exercise feedback scales. The questionnaire offers a valid and reliable tool for assessing healthcare staff perceptions of emergency preparedness and exercise satisfaction.
Keywords: HEPE; health emergency preparedness exercises; evaluation; questionnaire; survey; TTX; tabletop; drill; healthcare emergency responder; emergency preparedness; operation exercise; simulation exercise; healthcare emergency; mass casualty; major incident; disaster.
International Journal of Emergency Management, 2020 Vol.16 No.4, pp.317 - 346
Accepted: 17 Feb 2021
Published online: 23 Aug 2021 *