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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 62, Issue 9, pp 1051–1058 | Cite as

Self-efficacy and barriers to disaster evacuation in Hong Kong

  • Elizabeth A. NewnhamEmail author
  • Satchit Balsari
  • Rex Pui Kin Lam
  • Shraddha Kashyap
  • Phuong Pham
  • Emily Y. Y. Chan
  • Kaylie Patrick
  • Jennifer Leaning
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

To investigate specific challenges to Hong Kong’s capacity for effective disaster response, we assessed perceived barriers to evacuation and citizens’ self-efficacy.

Methods

Global positioning system software was used to determine random sampling locations across Hong Kong, weighted by population density. The resulting sample of 1023 participants (46.5% female, mean age 40.74 years) were invited to complete questionnaires on emergency preparedness, barriers to evacuation and self-efficacy. Latent profile analysis and multinomial logistic regression were used to identify self-efficacy profiles and predictors of profile membership.

Results

Only 11% of the sample reported feeling prepared to respond to a disaster. If asked to evacuate in an emergency, 41.9% of the sample cited significant issues that would preclude them from doing so. Self-efficacy was negatively associated with barriers to disaster response so that participants reporting higher levels of self-efficacy cited fewer perceived barriers to evacuation.

Conclusions

Hong Kong has established effective strategies for emergency response, but concerns regarding evacuation and mobilisation remain. The findings indicate that improving self-efficacy for disaster response has potential to increase evacuation readiness.

Keywords

Disaster preparedness Self-efficacy Decision-making Evacuation Natural disaster Asia 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study received funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust, and the first author was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship and Curtin Research Fellowship. We wish to acknowledge the support of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute and the valuable contributions of Kai Hsaio, Kevin Hung, Derek Lam, May Yeung, Eva Lam, Celeste Tang, and our research assistants. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the participants of the study.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Ethical approval

The authors assert that all procedures contributing to this work comply with the ethical standards of the relevant national and institutional committees on human experimentation and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2008. Ethical approval was received from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board and Hong Kong University Research Ethics Committee.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth A. Newnham
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Satchit Balsari
    • 1
  • Rex Pui Kin Lam
    • 3
  • Shraddha Kashyap
    • 4
  • Phuong Pham
    • 5
  • Emily Y. Y. Chan
    • 6
  • Kaylie Patrick
    • 1
  • Jennifer Leaning
    • 1
  1. 1.FXB Center for Health and Human RightsHarvard T. H. Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.School of Psychology and Speech PathologyCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.Emergency Medicine Unit, Li Ka Shing Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  4. 4.School of PsychologyThe University of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia
  5. 5.Harvard Humanitarian InitiativeHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  6. 6.Collaborating Centre for Oxford University and CUHK for Disaster and Medical Humanitarian ResponseChinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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