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Development of a decision framework for establishing a health register following a major incident

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Colin Muirhead


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INTRODUCTION: Health registers have been established in the United Kingdom (UK) and elsewhere following mass exposure to novel agents or known agents, but there is no consensus on the criteria for establishing such registers. OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to develop a decision framework to assess the need for establishing a health register for major chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) incidents. METHODS: The study comprised three stages. In the first stage, the study team prepared a list of potential criteria that may be used to assess the need for setting up a health register based on literature review and personal experiences in previous incidents. In the second stage, the potential criteria were evaluated in two Delphi rounds involving experts and key decision makers from the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) and academic organizations. In the final stage, the criteria were converted into a decision framework, and its utility was tested using four fictional scenarios. RESULTS: A total of 11 statements were proposed by the study group. These criteria were revised following feedback from 16 experts in the first Delphi round. All 11 statements achieved consensus at the end of the second Delphi round. Pilot testing of the agreed criteria on four fictional scenarios confirmed validity and reliability for use in the decision process. CONCLUSIONS: A decision framework to assess the need for setting up a health register after a major incident was agreed upon and tested using fictional scenarios. Further areas of work for practical implementation of the criteria and related planning for systems and protocols have been identified.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Paranthaman K, Catchpole M, Simpson J, Morris J, Muirhead CR, Leonardi GS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Prehospital and Disaster Medicine

Year: 2012

Volume: 27

Issue: 6

Pages: 524-530

Print publication date: 04/10/2012

ISSN (print): 1049-023X

ISSN (electronic): 1945-1938

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X12001434


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