Practice parameter on disaster preparedness

Betty Pfefferbaum, Jon A. Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This Practice Parameter identifies best approaches to the assessment and management of children and adolescents across all phases of a disaster. Delivered within a disaster system of care, many interventions are appropriate for implementation in the weeks and months after a disaster. These include psychological first aid, family outreach, psychoeducation, social support, screening, and anxiety reduction techniques. The clinician should assess and monitor risk and protective factors across all phases of a disaster. Schools are a natural site for conducting assessments and delivering services to children. Multimodal approaches using social support, psychoeducation, and cognitive behavioral techniques have the strongest evidence base. Psychopharmacologic interventions are not generally used but may be necessary as an adjunct to other interventions for children with severe reactions or coexisting psychiatric conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1238
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • child and adolescent
  • disaster
  • disaster system of care
  • psychological first aid
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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