Home-Based Emergency Preparedness for Families of Children and Youth With Special Healthcare Needs: A Scoping Review.

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Children and youth with special healthcare needs (CYSHCN) are at disproportionate risk of harm from widespread disasters and from life-safety emergencies. These risks may be mitigated by providing preparedness training and support to family caregivers. We conducted a scoping review to identify and map the scholarly literature on home-focused preparedness of families with CYSHCN. Our search strategy yielded 22 relevant articles; 13 pertained to life-safety emergencies, 5 centered on widespread disasters, and 4 addressed preparedness on multiple scales. Approaches to measure or attempt to improve emergency preparedness levels in CYSHCN and their families were diverse and included interviews and focus groups; didactic, video-based, or side-by-side instruction; simulated medical crises; and provisioning of emergency kits. For the studies that involved an intervention (n=15, 68%), several proxy indicators of preparedness were used, including caregiver knowledge, skill, or comfort level with managing emergencies that could affect their CYSHCN; completion of preparedness tasks; and reduction in adverse clinical outcomes. Despite the varied methodologies, prevailing themes in the studies were that family caregivers of CYSHCN felt underprepared for emergencies and disasters, desired training to improve their preparedness at home, and benefited from such trainings, at least in the short term, across domains of self-efficacy, skill, and health outcomes of their CYSHCN. Although more research is needed to compare preparedness interventions and evaluate the durability of these interventions in larger, more diverse samples of CYSHCN and their families, our findings support incorporating preparedness training into preventive care encounters and the hospital-to-home transition.

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Health Secur


online ahead of print

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