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Impact Of Health Disparities And Literacy In Pediatric Disasters: A Qualitative Approach
Irene Navis1, Almaas Shaikh2, David McCarthy3, Evette Perez4, Milissa Chanice3, *Chris Newton5, *Rita V Burke2
1Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management, Clark County, CA;2University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA;3Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management, Phoenix, AZ;4Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Management, Oakland, CA;5University of California, San Francisco, Oakland, CA

IntroductionThe Western Regional Alliance for Pediatric Emergency Medicine (WRAP-EM) is a multi-state, HHS funded pediatric disaster center of excellence. WRAP-EM studied the impact of health disparities and literacy in 11 core areas.
MethodsEleven focus groups were conducted during April 2021. The discussions were led by experienced facilitators, and comments using a Padlet. The Padlet is a cloud-based tool which allows for real-time collaboration in a virtual bulletin board format. Each group covered a specific topic area, but the Padlet questions were all standardized for consistency. Data from each group were analyzed to determine overarching themes.
ResultsResponses focused on health literacy, health disparities, resources, obstacles, and resilience building. Health literacy data highlighted the need for development of preparedness plans, community engagement in cultural and language appropriate means, and increasing diversity in training. Obstacles identified were funding, inequitable distribution of research, resources and supplies, and lack of prioritization of pediatric needs. Existing resources were referenced highlighting the importance of best practice sharing and networking. A stronger commitment to mental health care delivery, empowerment of individuals and communities, use of telemedicine, and ongoing cultural and diverse education were recurring themes throughout all focus groups discussing resilience. All groups noted ongoing progress but also the need to continue to expand to meet needs of the pediatric population.
ConclusionClearly, disparities in resilience and lack of access to essential care impact disaster planning and response. The study results provide insights into future work required to improve health disparities in pediatric disaster management.


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