Objective The aims of this literature review are to (1) summarise how computer and mobile technology-based health behaviour change applications have been evaluated in unintentional injury prevention, (2) describe how these successes can be applied to injury-prevention programmes in the future and (3) identify research gaps.
Methods Studies included in this systematic review were education and behaviour change intervention trials and programme evaluations in which the intervention was delivered by either a computer or mobile technology and addressed an unintentional injury prevention topic. Articles were limited to those published in English and after 1990.
Results Among the 44 technology-based injury-prevention studies included in this review, 16 studies evaluated locally hosted software programmes, 4 studies offered kiosk-based programmes, 11 evaluated remotely hosted internet programmes, 2 studies used mobile technology or portable devices and 11 studies evaluated virtual-reality interventions. Locally hosted software programmes and remotely hosted internet programmes consistently increased knowledge and behaviours. Kiosk programmes showed evidence of modest knowledge and behaviour gains. Both programmes using mobile technology improved behaviours. Virtual-reality programmes consistently improved behaviours, but there were little gains in knowledge. No studies evaluated text-messaging programmes dedicated to injury prevention.
Conclusions There is much potential for computer-based programmes to be used for injury-prevention behaviour change. The reviewed studies provide evidence that computer-based communication is effective in conveying information and influencing how participants think about an injury topic and adopt safety behaviours.
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Contributors EO, WS, EM, AG determined the search terms and inclusion criteria. The initial title search was conducted by NR. EO and NR reviewed the abstracts and abstracted the data. Quality assessment was completed by EO, NR and JZ. EO, WS, EM, MS and AG contributed to the analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors participated in drafting and revising the manuscript and final approval of the version to be published.
Funding This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Grant No. R01HD069221.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.