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Methodological approaches used to assess the relationship between parental supervision and child injury risk


Objective: To describe and rate the quality of methodological approaches used to measure parental supervision in relation to injury risk in children aged 0–14 years.

Design: A systematic review of the literature related to supervision and injury risk.

Methods: A comprehensive search of electronic databases from the earliest records available to the end of 2007, and supplemental hand-searching of relevant journals, reference lists of studies identified through database searches, and bibliographies of systematic and non-systematic reviews. A classification scale was used to rate the methodological quality of studies.

Results: 30 papers met the inclusion criteria. They varied substantially in quality, and no meta-analyses or randomised controlled trials were identified. Fifteen studies used self-report approaches, asking parents or care givers to report through recording diaries, interviews and questionnaires and were considered of low quality; 11 studies reconstructed injury outcomes retrospectively. Observational studies were conducted in both laboratory and natural settings (n = 6), and these studies were generally of higher quality than self-report methods.

Conclusions: The quality of many supervision and child injury risk studies is low to moderate. Further development of methodological approaches is needed to improve studies of the relationship between supervision and child injury risk.

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