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Injury questions on household surveys from around the world
  1. M Heinen1,
  2. K S McGee2,
  3. M Warner1
  1. 1Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, Maryland, USA
  2. 2Department of Injuries and Violence Prevention, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
  1. Correspondence to:
 Ms Kara S McGee
 University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Research Center, 137 East Franklin Street, CB# 7505, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7505, USA;

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Household surveys provide useful information on injury and associated risk factors

Household surveys are used around the world to gather information on many health related topics including non-fatal injuries. Household surveys can produce population based estimates of injuries that may stand on their own or may supplement surveillance systems tied to medical care. They are not subject to the same biases as medical records reviews. For example, household surveys can obtain a wealth of detail on the circumstances of the injury, which are often not in the medical record, and they can capture injuries that were not medically treated. They are, however, subject to different types of bias such as non-response and recall bias.

National estimates of non-fatal injuries can be derived based on the responses to specific questions about injuries. Estimates are often compared across countries despite the fact that the injury screening questions and inclusion criteria vary between countries. The estimate—whether it is of injured persons or injury episodes or injury related conditions—is often based on the response to a single screening question on injury; therefore, the way this question is asked is critical. Based on the screening question, the respondent needs to understand the definition of “injury”, remember if they had an injury during the specified recall period, and decide whether to accurately report the event.

Since there is currently no standard or recommended set of injury related questions or inclusion criteria for questions to be asked in a household survey, the International Collaborative Effort on Injury Statistics (Injury ICE)1 set out to learn how some countries are asking questions to determine the burden of non-fatal injuries. This brief report presents an overview of the compiled information. The detailed results are available on the ICE on Injury Statistics website ( along with the complete questions and …

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