Many of our most persistent public health problems are complex problems. They arise from a web of factors that interact and change over time and may exhibit resistance to intervention efforts. The domain of systems science provides several tools to help injury prevention researchers and practitioners examine deep, complex and persistent problems and identify opportunities to intervene. Using the increase in pedestrian death rates as an example, we provide (1) an accessible overview of how complex systems science approaches can augment established injury prevention frameworks and (2) a straightforward example of how specific systems science tools can deepen understanding, with a goal of ultimately informing action.
- systems science
- injury prevention
- road safety
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Contributors All authors contributed to the writing of this manuscript and have approved the final manuscript.
Funding This project was supported by the Collaborative Sciences Center for Road Safety (https://www.roadsafety.unc.edu), a United States Department of Transportation National University Transportation Center (award no. 69A3551747113). The UNC Injury Prevention Research Center is supported by an award (R49/CE0042479) from the CDC.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.