Medical rescue team's experiences in disaster response to individuals with special needs: The case of Türkiye


NATURAL HAZARDS, vol.120, no.2, pp.1841-1867, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 120 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11069-023-06273-7
  • Journal Name: NATURAL HAZARDS
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), CAB Abstracts, Communication Abstracts, Environment Index, Geobase, INSPEC, Metadex, PAIS International, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1841-1867
  • Keywords: Disaster and emergencies, Disaster response, Individuals with disabilities, Medical rescue, Qualitative study
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Disasters, which have increased in frequency and severity worldwide in recent years, negatively affect all individuals and the environment in the region where they occur and cause destruction. However, previous studies indicate that individuals with special needs are one of the groups most negatively affected by disasters. Accessibility of first aid and rescue services, an essential part of disaster management for individuals with special needs who are shown to be more vulnerable in disasters and emergencies, reduces this vulnerability. This study aims to understand and explore how the medical rescue team intervenes with individuals with special needs in disasters and emergencies. A qualitative case study is used to obtain in-depth and detailed information. The data are collected through semi-structured interviews, document review, and reflective researcher diary. The findings show that the rescue team did not recognize the general characteristics of individuals with special needs and had difficulties in recognizing, communicating, and intervening in emergencies. Therefore, the findings again drew attention to the fact that individuals with special needs are more vulnerable in disasters and emergencies from a different perspective. The current situation is thoroughly examined in the event of a disaster, and recommendations are made to enhance the rescue and medical intervention services that will be provided to people with special needs, to support disaster management policies, to lessen potentially harmful situations, and to enable people with special needs to access higher-quality health services in disasters and emergencies.