Author ORCID Identifier

Francis Clarence C. Chua: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0230-0093


Introduction: The study was conducted to develop a framework where physical therapists could be integrated into the disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) initiatives of a province in the northern Philippines.

Methods: This was a mixed-methods study that utilized a research and development design. A validated questionnaire on the experience and perceptions of DRRM was administered to 20 selected physical therapists. A validated interview guide was administered to 10 local disaster control office head and members. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the quantitative data. Thematic analysis was used to synthesize and examine the qualitative data.

Results: Physical therapists were found to have minimal exposure to disaster scenarios due to lack of training and experiences in disaster response. However, the physical therapists perceive that they are prepared to participate in DRRM and should be included. The study also revealed that physical therapists are not part of the local disaster management team because of limited awareness of leaders and members of the disaster control office on the roles of physical therapists in disaster management.

Discussion: This study developed an action-oriented framework to guide physical therapists' active involvement in all phases of disaster management. Specific strategies for the priorities for action of physical therapists in DRRM were identified based on the results of the study and its theoretical underpinnings.