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A randomised safety promotion intervention trial among low-income families with toddlers

Abstract

Background Toddler-aged children are vulnerable to unintentional injuries, especially those in low-income families.

Objective To examine the effectiveness of an intervention grounded in social cognitive theory (SCT) on the reduction of home safety problems among low-income families with toddlers.

Methods 277 low-income mother–toddler dyads were randomised into a safety promotion intervention (n=91) or an attention-control group (n=186). Mothers in the safety promotion intervention group received an eight-session, group-delivered safety intervention targeting fire prevention, fall prevention, poison control and car seat use, through health education, goal-setting and social support. Data collectors observed participants' homes and completed a nine-item checklist of home safety problems at study enrolment (baseline), 6 and 12 months after baseline. A total score was summed, with high scores indicating more problems. Linear mixed models compared the changes over time in home safety problems between intervention and control groups.

Results The intent-to-treat analysis indicated that the safety promotion intervention group significantly reduced safety problems to a greater degree than the attention-control group at the 12-month follow-up (between-group difference in change over time β=−0.54, 95% CI −0.05 to −1.03, p=0.035), with no significant differences at the 6-month follow-up.

Conclusions A safety promotion intervention built on principles of SCT has the potential to promote toddlers' home safety environment. Future studies should examine additional strategies to determine whether better penetration/compliance can produce more clinically important improvement in home safety practices.

Trial registration number NCT02615158; post-results.

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