Objective: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a community-based participatory intervention on earthquake preparedness in Tehran.
Methods: This community-engaged research was conducted during 2011 to 2013. An intervention and a control neighborhood were chosen through systematic cluster sampling. In the intervention group 305 households and in the control group 314 households were sampled for pre- and post-assessment surveys. A participatory intervention was designed on the basis of consultation with the community advisory board and was implemented by trained volunteers. Changes in outcome variables in the intervention and control groups were detected in terms of knowledge, attitude, and practice. Pearson chi-square tests and covariance regression were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention.
Results: The results showed that the frequency of earthquake experience in the intervention and control groups was 69.2% and 79.0%, respectively. Moreover, the mean difference scores in knowledge, attitude, and practice in the intervention and control groups before and after the intervention were significant (P<0.001).
Conclusions: A participatory intervention effectively improved disaster preparedness at a community level. To ensure sustainability, the participatory approach should be integrated into public health disaster planning.