OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study was to determine what injury control interventions are currently carried out by physicians and to examine how these interventions could be more effective. SETTING: Surveys were conducted among the three main groups of physicians who provide primary care to children in France--private practice pediatricians (PPPs), well-child clinic pediatricians (WCCPs), and general practitioners (GPs). METHOD: A representative sample of each of the three groups of physicians were interviewed by telephone, using a computer assisted telephone interview system, in December 1993 or February 1994. RESULTS: Responses demonstrated that most physicians felt they could play an important part in injury prevention but that many had inadequate knowledge of injury related mortality rates in children. Most PPPs and WCCPs usually provided counseling on safety in relation to developmental changes in children. Few physicians gave recommendations about appropriate first responses to emergencies. Printed material, designed for parent education, was provided by many PPPs and WCCPs, but was usually absent from the offices of GPs. Participation in group education sessions was common among WCCPs but rare among PPPs and GPs. Many physicians expressed skepticism regarding the efficacy of their interventions in injury control. CONCLUSION: A number of recommendations are made to those in government agencies or elsewhere who could help physicians to improve childhood injury prevention, for instance by regular publication of data on childhood injury mortality, counseling about parent education on this subject, and first aid in emergencies.
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