A review of the history and use of health disaster management guidelines for evaluation and research in the Utstein style

Diana Francis Wong, Caroline Spencer, Leanne Boyd, Frederick Burkle Jnr., Francis Leo Archer

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Study/Objective: This study, based on a review of historical goals and development of the ‘Utstein Guidelines’, was designed to determine the use of these ‘Guidelines’ since their conception in advancing the evidence base of disaster health. Background: In 2003, the Task Force on Quality Control of
Disaster Management (TFQCDM) published the ‘Utstein Guidelines’ framework for evaluation and research of health disaster management, making a strong case in recommending uniform data reporting. It was anticipated that this standardized reporting framework would advance evidence-based disaster
health science.
Methods: This study undertook: (1) a literature review of peer reviewed and grey literature documenting the history and use of the ‘Utstein Guidelines’; and (2) during 2014, a series of semistructured semistructured interviews of 15 experts in the fields of disaster medicine, disaster management, emergency management and / or humanitarian assistance management with experience in undertaking evaluation studies to determine both their opinions of and the use and usefulness of the ‘Guidelines’ in their research work.
Results: Despite a persistent lack of adherence to defined standards for collecting and reporting data (Stratton, 2012) the literature review and interviews confirmed that generally the ‘Utstein Guidelines’, although well referenced, were not used to structure research or evaluations in disaster health. However,
interviewees suggested that the ‘Utstein Guidelines’ were deemed of value and were used as a conceptual framework in education and teaching especially in providing consistent terminology.
Conclusion: It is suggested that with a renewed incorporation of the ‘Utstein Guidelines’ framework into basic disaster health research and education it is anticipated that future research will eventually adopt the conceptual framework that the ‘Guidelines’ offer. These ‘Guidelines’ have the potential to provide a better understanding of the essential structures designed to improve the
overall quality and consistency of data acquisition, analysis and reporting that are currently lacking.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages140
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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