Correlates of Perceived Care Comfort with an EMS Professional Having a Legal Conviction

Correlates of Perceived Care Comfort with an EMS Professional Having a Legal Conviction



The first objective was to examine the outcome of how comfortable a potential EMS-caller would be receiving care from an out-of-hospital-care EMS professional who might have a legal conviction. A second objective was to test for correlates that would explain this outcome.


In the autumn of 2010, a structured phone survey was conducted. To maximize geographical representation across the contiguous United States, a clustered, stratified sampling strategy was used based upon US Postal Service zip codes.


Of the 2,443 phone calls made, 1,051 (43%) full survey responses were obtained. Data cleaning efforts reduced the total to 929 in the final model regression analysis. Results revealed significant public discomfort in receiving care from EMS professionals who may have such a conviction. In addition, respondents who are less educated and older more strongly (1) agree that EMS professionals should have their licenses revoked for wrongdoing; (2) agree EMS professionals should be screened before being hired; (3) perceive EMS credentials to be important; (4) support a lawsuit for improper care; and (5) are collectively less comfortable with being cared for by an EMS professional who may have a legal conviction. Reliable scales were found for future research use.


There is significant public discomfort in receiving care from EMS professionals who may have a legal conviction. The results of this study provide increased impetus for the careful screening of EMS professionals before they are hired or allowed to be volunteers. Beyond this due diligence, the results serve as a reminder for increased EMS provider awareness of the importance of exhibiting professionalism when dealing with the public.

Blau G, Gibson G. Correlates of perceived care comfort with an EMS professional having a legal conviction. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2012;27(4):1-6.

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