All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Steven M Becker

Advisory Committee Members

Loretta A Cormier

Herman R Foushee

Mark D Garfinkel

Claudiu C Lungu

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2011

Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Public Health

Abstract

In the immediate aftermath of a radiological disaster, it is essential to rapidly screen the population to identify contaminated persons, those needing urgent medical treatment, and those requiring long-term follow-up. This process, known as "radiological population monitoring," is vital to reducing morbidity and mortality and effectively addressing people's health needs and concerns. Radiological population monitoring has become a significant new focus of attention and responsibility for government agencies in recent years, due in large part to growing concerns about the possibility of a terrorist attack involving radioactive materials. The primary responsibility for radiological population monitoring resides within state and local health departments. Currently, however, very little is known about how public health professionals view this developing role and the substantial responsibilities associated with it. This study explores for the first time public health professionals' perceptions, reactions and views regarding population monitoring, using a series of in-depth interviews with 27 public health emergency response coordinators to identify emergent themes, concerns and information needs. In addition, the study examines public health professionals' views of current population monitoring guidance and informational materials. Based on the findings, a series of policy recommendations is offered.

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Public Health Commons

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