Physicians' Preparedness for Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Priorities

George Caleb Alexander, G. Luke Larkin, Matthew K. Wynia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: Potential bioterrorism challenges policy makers to balance competing public health priorities. Earlier surveys showed low physician bioterrorism preparedness but did not assess physicians' general public health preparedness, compare the preparedness of emergency and primary care physicians, or assess temporal trends. Methods: This was a national, cross-sectional, random-sample survey conducted in 2003. Results: Overall, 744 of 1,200 eligible physicians responded (response rate, 62%). Of these, 58% of emergency physician respondents and 48% of primary care physician respondents reported having learned a lot about responding to bioterror since September 11, 2001 (p <0.01). However, only 43% of emergency physicians and 21% of primary care physicians agreed they are generally "well prepared to play a role in responding to a bioterror attack" (p <0.001). Beliefs about balancing public health priorities were similar among emergency and primary care respondents. Seventy-eight percent of respondents believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for bioterrorism, and 92% believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for natural epidemics. By contrast, only 23% and 46% of respondents reported that their local health care systems are well prepared for bioterrorism and natural epidemics, respectively. Meanwhile, 77% agreed that "influenza is a greater threat to public health than bioterrorism," and 21% reported that bioterrorism preparedness efforts are diverting resources from more important public health problems. Conclusions: In 2003, most emergency and primary care physicians reported that they and their local health care systems were not yet well prepared to respond to a bioterror attack, and many believed that more resources should go toward preparing for natural epidemics. These findings highlight the importance of expanding bioterrorism preparedness efforts to improve the public health system more broadly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1238-1241
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Emergency Medicine
Volume13
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2006
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Bioterrorism
Health Priorities
Public Health
Physicians
Primary Care Physicians
Emergency Medical Services
Delivery of Health Care
Emergencies
Surveys and Questionnaires
Administrative Personnel
Human Influenza
Primary Health Care

Keywords

  • bioterrorism
  • preparedness
  • public health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine

Cite this

Physicians' Preparedness for Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Priorities. / Alexander, George Caleb; Larkin, G. Luke; Wynia, Matthew K.

In: Academic Emergency Medicine, Vol. 13, No. 11, 11.2006, p. 1238-1241.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Alexander, George Caleb ; Larkin, G. Luke ; Wynia, Matthew K. / Physicians' Preparedness for Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Priorities. In: Academic Emergency Medicine. 2006 ; Vol. 13, No. 11. pp. 1238-1241.
@article{992b113183074d52b5304b9985d4479a,
title = "Physicians' Preparedness for Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Priorities",
abstract = "Objectives: Potential bioterrorism challenges policy makers to balance competing public health priorities. Earlier surveys showed low physician bioterrorism preparedness but did not assess physicians' general public health preparedness, compare the preparedness of emergency and primary care physicians, or assess temporal trends. Methods: This was a national, cross-sectional, random-sample survey conducted in 2003. Results: Overall, 744 of 1,200 eligible physicians responded (response rate, 62{\%}). Of these, 58{\%} of emergency physician respondents and 48{\%} of primary care physician respondents reported having learned a lot about responding to bioterror since September 11, 2001 (p <0.01). However, only 43{\%} of emergency physicians and 21{\%} of primary care physicians agreed they are generally {"}well prepared to play a role in responding to a bioterror attack{"} (p <0.001). Beliefs about balancing public health priorities were similar among emergency and primary care respondents. Seventy-eight percent of respondents believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for bioterrorism, and 92{\%} believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for natural epidemics. By contrast, only 23{\%} and 46{\%} of respondents reported that their local health care systems are well prepared for bioterrorism and natural epidemics, respectively. Meanwhile, 77{\%} agreed that {"}influenza is a greater threat to public health than bioterrorism,{"} and 21{\%} reported that bioterrorism preparedness efforts are diverting resources from more important public health problems. Conclusions: In 2003, most emergency and primary care physicians reported that they and their local health care systems were not yet well prepared to respond to a bioterror attack, and many believed that more resources should go toward preparing for natural epidemics. These findings highlight the importance of expanding bioterrorism preparedness efforts to improve the public health system more broadly.",
keywords = "bioterrorism, preparedness, public health",
author = "Alexander, {George Caleb} and Larkin, {G. Luke} and Wynia, {Matthew K.}",
year = "2006",
month = "11",
doi = "10.1197/j.aem.2005.12.022",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "13",
pages = "1238--1241",
journal = "Academic Emergency Medicine",
issn = "1069-6563",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "11",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Physicians' Preparedness for Bioterrorism and Other Public Health Priorities

AU - Alexander, George Caleb

AU - Larkin, G. Luke

AU - Wynia, Matthew K.

PY - 2006/11

Y1 - 2006/11

N2 - Objectives: Potential bioterrorism challenges policy makers to balance competing public health priorities. Earlier surveys showed low physician bioterrorism preparedness but did not assess physicians' general public health preparedness, compare the preparedness of emergency and primary care physicians, or assess temporal trends. Methods: This was a national, cross-sectional, random-sample survey conducted in 2003. Results: Overall, 744 of 1,200 eligible physicians responded (response rate, 62%). Of these, 58% of emergency physician respondents and 48% of primary care physician respondents reported having learned a lot about responding to bioterror since September 11, 2001 (p <0.01). However, only 43% of emergency physicians and 21% of primary care physicians agreed they are generally "well prepared to play a role in responding to a bioterror attack" (p <0.001). Beliefs about balancing public health priorities were similar among emergency and primary care respondents. Seventy-eight percent of respondents believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for bioterrorism, and 92% believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for natural epidemics. By contrast, only 23% and 46% of respondents reported that their local health care systems are well prepared for bioterrorism and natural epidemics, respectively. Meanwhile, 77% agreed that "influenza is a greater threat to public health than bioterrorism," and 21% reported that bioterrorism preparedness efforts are diverting resources from more important public health problems. Conclusions: In 2003, most emergency and primary care physicians reported that they and their local health care systems were not yet well prepared to respond to a bioterror attack, and many believed that more resources should go toward preparing for natural epidemics. These findings highlight the importance of expanding bioterrorism preparedness efforts to improve the public health system more broadly.

AB - Objectives: Potential bioterrorism challenges policy makers to balance competing public health priorities. Earlier surveys showed low physician bioterrorism preparedness but did not assess physicians' general public health preparedness, compare the preparedness of emergency and primary care physicians, or assess temporal trends. Methods: This was a national, cross-sectional, random-sample survey conducted in 2003. Results: Overall, 744 of 1,200 eligible physicians responded (response rate, 62%). Of these, 58% of emergency physician respondents and 48% of primary care physician respondents reported having learned a lot about responding to bioterror since September 11, 2001 (p <0.01). However, only 43% of emergency physicians and 21% of primary care physicians agreed they are generally "well prepared to play a role in responding to a bioterror attack" (p <0.001). Beliefs about balancing public health priorities were similar among emergency and primary care respondents. Seventy-eight percent of respondents believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for bioterrorism, and 92% believed that local health care systems need to be prepared for natural epidemics. By contrast, only 23% and 46% of respondents reported that their local health care systems are well prepared for bioterrorism and natural epidemics, respectively. Meanwhile, 77% agreed that "influenza is a greater threat to public health than bioterrorism," and 21% reported that bioterrorism preparedness efforts are diverting resources from more important public health problems. Conclusions: In 2003, most emergency and primary care physicians reported that they and their local health care systems were not yet well prepared to respond to a bioterror attack, and many believed that more resources should go toward preparing for natural epidemics. These findings highlight the importance of expanding bioterrorism preparedness efforts to improve the public health system more broadly.

KW - bioterrorism

KW - preparedness

KW - public health

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33751013019&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33751013019&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1197/j.aem.2005.12.022

DO - 10.1197/j.aem.2005.12.022

M3 - Article

C2 - 16614456

AN - SCOPUS:33751013019

VL - 13

SP - 1238

EP - 1241

JO - Academic Emergency Medicine

JF - Academic Emergency Medicine

SN - 1069-6563

IS - 11

ER -