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35 Achieving population level changes in health: a dialogue on pathways to progress
  1. Rod McClure,
  2. Karin Mack,
  3. Natalie Wilkins
  1. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA USA


Population level reduction in injury-related harm is rarely achieved by simply multiplying the scale of a prevention program that has been shown to be efficacious under controlled research circumstances. More often population level impact is achieved by starting de novo from within the public domain, and designing and implementing complex solutions using existing social infrastructures and institutions. Injury prevention projects delivered to whole populations are complex, and while local involvement is critical to the success of population-based interventions, effective action to prevent injury does require orchestrated support from societal leadership. Support can maximise and amplify the outcomes of local initiatives with changes in the social institutions in which causal events, conditions and attributes are created and sustained. Past successes, e.g., tobacco control and use of seat belts, have required extensive and prolonged attention with interventions ultimately engaging all aspects of society, including cultural norms. The implementation of a broad prevention approach will reduce intrinsic risk factors across the whole population before they manifest themselves as proximal risk factors.

For this session, a presenter will introduce the concepts to be discussed and then other presenters will provide brief examples of empirical prevention research that demonstrates the effectiveness of state-of-the-art methods of achieving population-level improvements in health. This will be followed by participant interaction from the floor. Discussion notes will be collected and posed as working lines of inquiries for a future journal supplement. This session will provide an opportunity for free flow of ideas between injury prevention researchers and advocates. The session will drive innovation and development of the field by setting the stage for lines of inquiry.

Presentations “The nature of population level change” Roderick McClure

“Suicide and Social Processes” Eric Caine

“Injury Prevention as a byproduct” Ronan Lyons

“Pathways to Progress Overview and Facilitated Discussion” Karin Mack

  • systems change
  • implementation
  • injury and violence prevention

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