competencies, evaluation, health professionals, terrorism preparedness



  1. Ablah, Elizabeth PhD, MPH
  2. Molgaard, Craig A. PhD, MPH
  3. Fredrickson, Doren D. MD, PhD
  4. Wetta-Hall, Ruth MSN, MPH, PhD, RN
  5. Cook, David J. PhD


Purpose: This study describes the evaluation of a 2-year plan to train 10 percent of Kansas' multidisciplinary health professionals for response to terrorism and emerging infections. This project was part of a national effort covering 19 states funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2003.


Methods: The initial training occurred in six 2-day workshops. A terrorism preparedness questionnaire was developed to assess Health Resources and Services Administration terrorism response competencies/learning objectives. These were measured before, after, and 3 months after training in a hybrid cross-sectional and cohort follow-up design.


Results: Health professionals' mean scores significantly improved on all four Health Resources and Services Administration terrorism self-reported competencies from pretest to posttest. Three months posttraining, health professionals' mean scores decreased slightly but remained significantly higher than their pretest scores.


Conclusions: This project prepared healthcare professionals to respond to the medical consequences of terrorism. The integration of core competencies into the evaluation plan allowed for trainees to evaluate their confidence and abilities. The evaluation plan and curriculum may serve as useful tools for preparation of healthcare workers nationwide, with the potential to rebuild the public health infrastructure to assume preparedness responsibilities.