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Use of the modified Delphi technique to identify and rate home injury hazard risks and prevention methods for young children


Objective: For children aged 1–5 years, the authors used the Delphi method to determine (1) the most important injury hazards in each area of the home; (2) the most important injury prevention behaviors; and (3) feasible and efficacious safety devices and behaviors to reduce injury risks.

Design: The authors used a modified Delphi method to prioritize home injury hazards for children 1–5 years of age. The Delphi method is an indirect, anonymous, iterative process aimed at achieving consensus among experts; in this study, the authors queried key informants electronically. Thirty four key informants, primarily from the United States, participated in at least one of the three rounds of questionnaires. Responses were submitted by email or fax. Participants identified, rated, and ranked home injury hazards and prevention methods.

Results: The overall response rate for each survey ranged from 82% to 97%. Initially, 330 unique hazards and prevention behaviors/devices were identified in seven areas of the home. The 126 home injury hazards were rated based on frequency, severity, and preventability of injury; and the 204 behaviors and devices were rated by efficacy and feasibility. These experts rated firearms and pools as the most significant hazards, and smoke alarms and safe water temperature as the most important preventions.

Conclusions: The modified Delphi method of consensus was useful to prioritize home injury hazards and prevention methods for children under the age of 6 years.

  • Delphi
  • unintentional
  • preschool children
  • home safety
  • ranking
  • hazards

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