Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Natural Disasters and Medication Interruption: A Systematic Literature Review

Piccoli, Lizz (2021) Natural Disasters and Medication Interruption: A Systematic Literature Review. Master Essay, University of Pittsburgh.

Download (550kB) | Preview


Background: Natural disasters often cause both structural and non-structural damage to healthcare buildings. They can disrupt supply chains, limit hospital capacities, reduce access to healthcare providers, and force the evacuation of healthcare facilities. These disruptions have a particular significance in relation to an increasing number of individuals around the world living with non-communicable diseases who require ongoing medical treatment.

Objective: The aim of this systematic literature review is to identify the impact of natural disasters on the continuity of care for pre-existing conditions during natural disasters, including the impact of medication loss and medical aid loss on individuals displaced during disasters, and the difficulties of providing continued care by medical relief teams following extreme weather events and other natural hazards.

Methods: Key health journal databases (Medline, AGRICOLA, Global Health, PsycInfo) were searched via the Ovid SP search engine. Search terms were identified by first consulting MeSH terms and then by using other key terms as part of a secondary review. Journal articles, meta-analyses, and systematic reviews published from January 2000 to December 2020, that were written in English and contained an abstract, were included in this review. Book chapters, clinical trials, abstracts for conferences or dissertations, and articles written in a language other than English were excluded. 87 articles were screened first by title, and then by abstract eligibility. The remaining articles (n = 36) were screened based on their full text, and a secondary screening via citation searching was conducted which resulted in an additional 20 articles. From these articles, 7 were rejected for not fulfilling the inclusion criteria, and 14 were literature review articles.

Results: A total of 35 articles which fulfilled the inclusion criteria were included in this systematic review. A substantial number of individuals experienced a period of medication interruption following natural disasters, and current recommendations for personal preparedness have proved ineffective in most countries. Additional barriers to reestablishing continued care for individuals with pre-existing conditions include a lack of patient knowledge regarding their own medical history, and inadequate availability of essential medications.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Other Thesis, Dissertation, or Long Paper (Master Essay)
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Piccoli, LizzEAP91@pitt.edueap91
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis advisorMartinson, Jeremyjmartins@pitt.edujmartinsUNSPECIFIED
Committee MemberSalter, Cynthiacys6@pitt.educys6UNSPECIFIED
Date: 31 August 2021
Date Type: Completion
Number of Pages: 74
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master Essay
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: natural disasters, medication, literature review
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 12:51
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 12:51


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item