Session: Psychosocial Factors and Perishable Data Collection in Disasters: Creating Resilience through Research (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

211 Psychosocial Factors and Perishable Data Collection in Disasters: Creating Resilience through Research

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Maryvale B, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Sustainable Development, Urbanization, and Environmental Justice
Holly Davies, MSW, University of Houston
Holly Davies, MSW, University of Houston, Roni Fraser, MA, University of Delaware and Margaret Webb, MS, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Estimates indicate that one in two Americans will experience a natural disaster in their lifetime. Even though more people experience mental health issues than medical issues after a disaster, timely research surrounding underlying psychosocial factors and perishable data collection postdisaster receive little attention. Despite considerable need for psychosocial research, life and property preservation are frequently prioritized at the expense of mental health assessment and intervention. The consequences of this are dire, as between 25% and 75% of survivors experience mental health sequalae postdisaster, yet early assessment and intervention shorten human suffering in a cost-effective manner, leading to increased resiliency and recovery for survivors. As climate science indicates that natural hazards will become more frequent and severe, these numbers are expected to pointedly increase throughout the next decades. Disaster data is perishable data, which must be collected within a short time frame, often hours to days after a catastrophic event, yet significant barriers exist which prevent this. Among these issues are technology barriers, threats to internal and external validity, cost constraints, IRB processing times, and systemic infrastructure and vulnerable population inequalities. Furthermore, collecting data well after event occur relies on episodic memory, which can be hampered during traumatic events leading to memory suppression or fragmentation, while the emotional impact of a memory can be increased. Re-traumatization as survivors recall painful existential threats and events is an issue which can be partially ameliorated through prompt sensible data collection and data sharing process throughout the disaster lifecycle. This roundtable will spotlight these factors. Topics discussed will include engaging hesitant individuals and community to encourage data sharing, infrastructure inequalities and technology deserts which hinder access to and recovery in populations, institutional review board (IRB) processing times, and ethical issues (e.g. citizenship, protected health information, and incarceration status). Technological barriers to disaster preparation, mitigation and response include prompt, accurate, non-redundant information, and data consolidation within cost constraints. Disaster research faces underpowered sample sizes, generalizability issues, and measurement standardization concerns, which can be mitigated through universal standards and procedures. The impact of compounded trauma from multiple disasters and socioeconomic downward mobility from disasters will be explored, along with pre-disaster tools to build resilience prior to catastrophes. Climate justice concepts to include the voices of vulnerable and underserved populations, and investigate intersectionality, will be shared, along with best practices to engage populations and build relationships with individuals and communities prior to a catastrophe. Attendees will explore data collection obstacles and discover techniques to increase disaster resilience in understudied and vulnerable populations, as well as ideas for future interdisciplinary research and collaboration opportunities. The goal of this roundtable session is to engage in stimulating conversations which will highlight the challenges in this developing research area, encourage collaboration and research among attendees in this critical area, and foster the development of standardized procedures and tools to increase research generalizability and practical applications, to ensure a reduction in survivor suffering. Participants will leave with best practices, tools, and ideas to implement with their clients and in their agencies and communities.
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