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Emergency Preparedness in Elderly Care in Sweden: A Study of Staff Perspectives

  • Carin Björngren Cuadra (a1)

The aim was to investigate the interface between elderly care and emergency preparedness from the elderly care staff’s perspective.


A web-based questionnaire was sent to elderly care staff in 4 Swedish municipalities. The questions involved experiences of extraordinary events, education and exercises, and risk and vulnerability analyses, evaluations of main risks and emergency preparedness, and familiarity with preparedness plans. In total, 568 elderly care staff responded.


Between 15% and 25% of the respondents claimed experiences of extraordinary events, exercises and education, and risk and vulnerability analyses. The same number claimed familiarity with the organization’s preparedness plan, whereas ~85% answered that they need more education and exercises. Emergency preparedness was evaluated as important. The experiences and risks referred to pertained to both official categories used within emergency preparedness and issues such as work conditions, seniors’ fall accidents.


Elderly care staff, though highly motivated, do not seem to be involved in emergency preparedness and are not targeted to a large extent when education and training are organized. A development of the interface between emergency preparedness and elderly care could require a clarification of the scope and context of emergency preparedness and of differing understandings of central concepts. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:86–93)

Corresponding author
Correspondence and reprint requests to Carin Björngren Cuadra, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Malmö University, 205 06 Malmö, Sweden (e-mail:
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Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness
  • ISSN: 1935-7893
  • EISSN: 1938-744X
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