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Ana Pinto de Oliveira

University of Algarve | Portugal

Title: A disaster medicine curriculum for medical students


Biography: Ana Pinto de Oliveira


Background: The many recent catastrophic natural disasters and increased terrorist attacks have focused attention on disaster
medicine. Nevertheless, gaps in undergraduate and postgraduate disaster medicine education have been note worldwide.
Following the recommendations of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine to develop standards for training the undergraduates in disaster-relevant fields, many medical schools have begun to incorporate disaster related topics into their curricula. In Algarve University Medical School, a Disaster Medicine course was introduced in medical curricula in
Objectives: This study evaluated the efficacy of a disaster medicine curricula recently designed for medical students in their
sixth year at Algarve University Medical School, Portugal, over the last two years.
Methods: A quantitative study was conducted in which students were asked to respond to a questionnaire using a 7-point Likert scale (7 = strongly agree, 1 = strongly disagree) in five core questions. Survey methodology was use to evaluate increased knowledge, clarity of content, content adjusted to needs, course duration and recommendation of the course to colleagues.
Descriptive statistics were conduct for the quantitative data of the questionnaire using SPSS Version 23.0 (SPSS, Chicago, IL).
Results: A total of 93 medical students participated in disaster medicine course, in the last 2 years. The age of the respondents ranged from 25 to 48 years (mean 32, 6; median 32, 0). Fifty-one per cent were females. All students have a previous degree in health-related field: 29% in nursing, 25% biomedical sciences, 20% in physiotherapy, 12% in biological sciences and 14% with
different studies. The questionnaire explored issues as “increasing knowledge about disaster medicine” that achieved a mean score of 5.85 out of seven points. Students endorsed the idea that a training course is need with a mean score of 5.75/7 and supported the idea that disaster medicine training should be provide to medical students (mean 6.37/7). The duration of the course and the pedagogical component was classified with 5.0 and 6.2, respectively.
Conclusions: Disaster medicine in the medical curricula was found to be highly relevant and acceptable to the students.