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Applying Risk Perception Theory to Public Health Workforce Preparedness Training

Barnett, Daniel J. MD, MPH; Balicer, Ran D. MD, MPH; Blodgett, David W. MD, MPH; Everly, George S. Jr PhD; Omer, Saad B. MBBS, MPH; Parker, Cindy L. MD, MPH; Links, Jonathan M. PhD

Journal of Public Health Management and Practice: November 2005 - Volume 11 - Issue 6 - p S33–S37
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Since 9/11, public health has seen a progressive culture change toward a 24/7 emergency response organizational model. This transition entails new expectations for public health workers, including (1) a readiness and willingness to report to duty in emergencies and (2) an ability to effectively communicate risk to an anxious public about terrorism or naturally occurring disasters. To date, however, research on readiness education for health department workers has focused little attention upon the risk perceptions that may influence their willingness to report to duty during disasters, as well as their ability to provide effective emergency risk communication to the public. Here, we apply risk perception factors to explore the potential barriers and remedies to effective public health workforce emergency response.

The article describes the risk perception factors to explore the potential barriers and remedies to effective public health workforce emergency response.

Daniel J. Barnett, MD, MPH, is Instructor, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Ran D. Balicer, MD, MPH, is Public Health Physician, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, and Department of Health Policy and Management, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Be'er-Sheva, Israel.

David W. Blodgett, MD, MPH, is Public Health Physician, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

George S. Everly, Jr, PhD, is Faculty, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Saad B. Omer, MBBS, MPH, is Research Associate, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Cindy L. Parker, MD, MPH, is Instructor, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Jonathan M. Links, PhD, is Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

Corresponding author: Daniel J. Barnett, MD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 N Wolfe St, Room WB030, Baltimore, MD 21205 (e-mail: dbarnett@jhsph.edu).

The development of this article by Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health Preparedness has been supported in part through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.