OBJECTIVE: Injury prevention programs have been implemented with varying degrees of success in the United States. The objective of this study was to identify the variables that influence the successful implementation of injury prevention programs. METHODS: The key indicators of implementation success and its correlates were identified through consultation with a panel of experts. This consultation informed the content of a mail questionnaire sent to all United States state health departments, followed by telephone interviews. Data were analyzed using factor analysis and regression to identify significant relationships between variables. RESULTS: Data were obtained from 64 programs, representing 44 states; these included 24 programs in injury control units, 12 in maternal and child health units, 10 in health promotion/education units; and eight in emergency medical services units. Analysis identified four factors that are associated with an index of successful injury prevention program implementation; (1) participation and advocacy by constituent groups; (2) organizational capacity; (3) administrative control; and (4) attributes of relevant policies. CONCLUSIONS: Findings indicated that constituent participation (the extent and efficacy of constituency support and advocacy) and organizational capacity (a function of program staff and their skill levels) had the greatest influence on successful program implementation. Support from advocacy groups and knowledgeable staff members, whose time is dedicated to the program, are critical for conducting the activities necessary for successful implementation of these programs.
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