Assessment of psychological preparedness and emergency response willingness of local public health department and hospital workers

Nicole A. Errett, Carol B. Thompson, Christina Catlett, Howard Gwon, Daniel J. Barnett, Natalie L. Semon, Edbert Hsu, Ran D. Balice

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study sought to investigate the relationship between psychologically-related attitudes/ beliefs toward public health emergency response among local health department (LHD) and hospital workers and their willingness to respond to a pandemic influenza emergency scenario and a radiological 'dirty' bomb scenario, to inform workforce resilience-building interventions. LHD and hospital workers participated in a survey based on an established threat-and efficacy-oriented behavioral model (the Extended Parallel Process Model) that focused on collection of the aforementioned attitudes, beliefs, and self-reported response willingness. Odds ratios associating psychologically-related attitudes and beliefs with self-reported response willingness were computed. Perceived levels of psychological preparedness and support were shown to impact response willingness, with more pronounced effects in the radiological 'dirty' bomb scenario. Compared to those who did not perceive themselves to be psychologically prepared, those who did perceive themselves as prepared had higher odds of self-reported response willingness. The relationship of these perceptions and self-reported willingness to respond in all contexts, both scenarios, and both cohorts was influenced by perceived self-efficacy and perceived family preparedness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-133
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of emergency mental health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 26 2012



  • Disaster mental health
  • Emergency
  • Psychological preparedness
  • Support
  • Willingness to respond

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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