Evaluation of emergency preparedness exercises: The design of a questionnaire to measure staff perceptions

Elena A. Skryabina*, Naomi Betts, Gabriel Reedy, Paul Riley, Richard Amlôt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evaluation is an essential part of health emergency preparedness exercises (HEPE) that allows identification of limitations in performance. Addressing limitations enhances preparedness. However, there is a lack of reliable and validated tools to assist with exercise evaluation. This study reports the design and validation of a questionnaire to collect data from participants to study their experiences with HEPE and perceptions of their own and their organisation's emergency preparedness. Questionnaire test-retest reliability using ICC was checked (N = 27). Internal reliability using Cronbach's alpha is reported separately for discussion-based (N = 97) and operation-based exercises (N = 238). Analysis checked for discriminant validity and sensitivity to change. The questionnaire consists of four scales (parts): pre-exercise assessment, participant's perceptions, exercise feedback, and satisfaction with the exercise. All scales demonstrated good internal consistency for both exercise types (Cronbach's alpha: 0.672-0.940), but mixed test-retest agreement for the pre-exercise and exercise feedback scales. The questionnaire offers a valid and reliable tool for assessing healthcare staff perceptions of emergency preparedness and exercise satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-346
Number of pages30
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Management
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This study was funded by the National Institute for Health Research Health Protection Research Unit (NIHR HPRU) in Emergency Preparedness and Response, a partnership between Public Health England, King’s College London and the University of East Anglia. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NIHR, Public Health England or the Department of Health and Social Care. Professor Richard Amlôt is also supported by the NIHR HPRUs in Evaluation of Interventions at Bristol University and Modelling Methodology at Imperial College London. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health and Social Care or Public Health England.

Open Access: This is an Open Access Article distributed under the CC BY license. (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2020. Published by Inderscience Publishers Ltd.

Citation: Skryabina, Elena A., et al. "Evaluation of emergency preparedness exercises: the design of a questionnaire to measure staff perceptions." International Journal of Emergency Management 16.4 (2020): 317-346.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEM.2020.117209


  • Disaster
  • Drill
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Evaluation
  • HEPE
  • Health emergency preparedness exercises
  • Healthcare emergency
  • Healthcare emergency responder
  • Major incident
  • Mass casualty
  • Operation exercise
  • Questionnaire
  • Simulation exercise
  • Survey
  • TTX
  • Tabletop


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