Article Text

Barriers to, and facilitators of, the prevention of unintentional injury in children in the home: a systematic review and synthesis of qualitative research
  1. Janet Smithson1,
  2. Ruth Garside2,
  3. Mark Pearson2
  1. 1Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Washington Singer Laboratories, Exeter, UK
  2. 2Peninsula Medical School, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Janet Smithson, Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Washington Singer Laboratories, Perry Road, Exeter EX4 4QG, UK; j.smithson{at}


Background This review considers barriers to, and facilitators of, success for interventions to reduce unintentional injury to children in the home through supply and/or installation of home safety equipment, and looks at risk assessments.

Methods A systematic review of qualitative research. Bibliographic databases were searched for studies on interventions to reduce unintentional child injury in the home, or on related attitudes and behaviours. Studies were quality appraised, findings extracted, and a conceptual framework was developed to assess factors affecting the success of interventions.

Results Nine peer-reviewed journal articles were included. Barriers and facilitators were highlighted at organisational, environmental and personal levels. Effective provision of safety equipment involves ongoing support with installation and maintenance. Take up and success of interventions depends on adjusting interventions according to practical limitations and parents' cultural expectations. A particular barrier was parents' inability to modify rented or shared accommodation.

Conclusions The review highlights ways in which health inequalities affect the take up and success of home safety interventions, and how health workers can use this knowledge to facilitate future interventions.

  • Child
  • home
  • qualitative
  • systematic review

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: and

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  • Funding This research was funded by NICE Centre for Public Health Excellence, and carried out by the Peninsula Technology Assessment Group, part of the Institute of Health Service Research at the Peninsula Medical School. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of NICE.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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