Background Injuries are one of the three leading causes of morbidity and mortality for young people internationally. Although community risk factors are modifiable causes of youth injury, there has been limited evaluation of community interventions. Communities That Care (CTC) offers a coalition training process to increase evidence-based practices that reduce youth injury risk factors.
Method Using a non-experimental design, this study made use of population-based hospital admissions data to evaluate the impact on injuries for 15 communities that implemented CTC between 2001 and 2017 in Victoria, Australia. Negative binomial regression models evaluated trends in injury admissions (all, unintentional and transport), comparing CTC and non-CTC communities across different age groups.
Results Statistically significant relative reductions in all hospital injury admissions in 0–4 year olds were associated with communities completing the CTC process and in 0–19 year olds when communities began their second cycle of CTC. When analysed by subgroup, a similar pattern was observed with unintentional injuries but not with transport injuries.
Conclusion The findings support CTC coalition training as an intervention strategy for preventing youth hospital injury admissions. However, future studies should consider stronger research designs, confirm findings in different community contexts, use other data sources and evaluate intervention mechanisms.
- safe Community
- injury diagnosis
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Contributors All authors contributed to the conceptualisation of the study, interpretation of the findings and drafting and revising of the manuscript.
Funding We acknowledge funding support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (APP1087781), Australian Research Council (LP100200755), State Government of Victoria (Department of Justice and Regulation, VicRoads and Transport Accident Commission) and Ian Potter Foundation (GRANT ID 20170371).
Competing interests The following authors served in the not-for-profit company Communities That Care Ltd that was evaluated in this paper: Rowland (current chief executive officer (CEO)), Reavley, Minuzzo (directors) and Toumbourou (director and ex-CEO).
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval Victorian Injury Surveillance Unit has ethical approval for custody, use and dissemination of Victorian hospital data on injury (Monash University Human Ethics Committee project 21427).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request.
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