Disaster Nursing Research

Dean Whitehead, Paul Arbon

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Research that underpins and reports disaster healthcare practices is growing rapidly. However, conducting scientific research in this area is ethically and practically both complex and difficult. Thus, it is not surprising that the collection of research data during disasters often is not a priority for responding healthcare professionals. The majority of research concerning health planning, response, and recovery from a disaster is descriptive of the situation either before or after the event. Achieving evidence-based practice requires that disaster healthcare professionals seek new ways to understand the health aspects of a disaster and to evaluate their practice, both within and beyond the relief phase, and both in real time and retrospectively. Of course, some disaster-related problems only can be researched at certain times, such as with post-traumatic mental health issues and the responses of both individuals and entire communities to a disaster. There is considerable opportunity and need for research that contributes to the science of disaster health care and supports the way that we prepare for and respond to the health aspects of a disaster. The challenge is to develop research approaches that ensure robust findings and allow us to compare findings across studies, across events, and across societies, in an effort to improve the quality of the evidence that supports our practice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationInternational Disaster Nursing
    EditorsRobert Powers, Elaine Daily
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Number of pages22
    ISBN (Electronic)9780511841415
    ISBN (Print)9780521168007
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


    • disaster healthcare
    • research data
    • evidence based practice


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