Objective: Community based models for injury prevention have become an accepted part of the overall injury control strategy. This systematic review of the scientific literature examines the evidence for their effectiveness in reducing all-cause injury in children 0–14 years of age.
Methods: A comprehensive search of the literature was performed using the following study selection criteria: community based intervention study; children under 14 years; outcome measure was injury rates; and either a community control or an historical control was used in the design. Quality assessment and data abstraction were guided by a standardized procedure and performed independently by two authors. Data synthesis was in tabular and text form with meta-analysis not being possible due to the discrepancy in methods and measures between the studies.
Results: Thorough electronic and library search techniques yielded only nine formally evaluated community based all-cause child injury prevention programs that have reported actual injury outcomes. Of these nine studies, seven provided high level evidence where contemporary control communities were used for comparison; the remaining two used a pre and post-design or time trend analysis where historical data from the community were used as the comparison. Only three of the seven studies with contemporary control communities found significant effect of the intervention; the two studies without controls noted significant reductions in injury rates after the intervention period.
Conclusion: There is a paucity of research from which evidence regarding the effectiveness of community based childhood injury prevention programs can be obtained and hence a clear need to increase the effort on developing this evidence base.
- evidenced based medicine
- prevention program
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