Multi-disciplinary care for the elderly in disasters: An integrative review

Heather L. Johnson*, Catherine G. Ling, Elexis C. McBee

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Data sources A systematic search protocol was developed in conjunction with a research librarian. Searches of PubMed, CINAHL, and PsycINFO were conducted using terms such as Disaster, Geological Processes, Aged, Disaster Planning, and Vulnerable Populations. Forty-six articles met criteria for inclusion in the review.

Conclusions Policies and guidance regarding evacuating versus sheltering in place are lacking. Tenets of elderly-focused disaster planning/preparation and clarification of legal and ethical standards of care and liability issues are needed. Functional capacity, capabilities, or impairments, rather than age, should be considered in disaster preparation. Older adults should be included in disaster planning as population-specific experts.

Implications for Practice A multifaceted approach to population-specific disaster planning and curriculum development should include consideration of the biophysical and psychosocial aspects of care, ethical and legal issues, logistics, and resources.

Purpose The purpose of this integrative review of the literature was to describe the system-wide knowledge and skills that multi-disciplinary health care providers need to provide appropriate care for the elderly during domestic-humanitarian and disaster-relief efforts.

Introduction Older adults are disproportionately affected by disaster. Frail elders, individuals with chronic diseases, conditions, or disabilities, and those who live in long-term care facilities are especially vulnerable.

Original languageEnglish
Article number00124
JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • disaster
  • disaster planning
  • disaster victims
  • epidemics
  • frail elderly
  • health care personnel
  • health services for the aged
  • long-term care
  • vulnerable populations


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-disciplinary care for the elderly in disasters: An integrative review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this