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Core competencies for injury prevention among public health students and an advocacy for curriculum development in the medical universities in China: a cross-sectional study
  1. Zhoufeng Ye1,
  2. Koustuv Dalal2,
  3. Huiying Zhang3,
  4. Fenfen Li1,
  5. Jiakui Zhao4,
  6. Shu-Mei Wang1
  1. 1 School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
  2. 2 School of Health and Education, University of Skövde, Skovde, Västra Götaland, Sweden
  3. 3 Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
  4. 4 Department of Health Education and Health Promotion, Shanghai Huangpu Disease Prevention and Control Center, Shanghai, China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shu-Mei Wang, Department of Children and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China; smwang{at}; Mr Jiakui Zhao; Kz3614{at}


Objectives To assess the current status of injury prevention (IP) core competency among medical students majoring in public health in China and to advocate for incorporating IP in the medical curriculum.

Methods The study used purposive sampling in eight medical universities in China in 2017, including 420 undergraduates and 763 graduates, using self-administered questionnaires based on the core competency instrument for IP with five domains (31 items): A) injury analysis and assessment (8 items), B) IP project planning and implementation (7 items), C) communication (6 items), D) community practice (5 items), and E) leadership and systematic thinking (5 items). The higher score indicated the higher level of proficiency of the ability (scores ranged from 1 to 5). We used linear regression model to test the effect of IP course experience on the core competency mean score after adjusting for potential confounders.

Results The total mean score was 2.78 (SD=0.76, median=2.9, range=1–4.55) and 2.68 (SD=0.75, median=2.81, range=1–4.45) for undergraduates and graduates, respectively. There were 60% and 36% of undergraduates and graduates who have ever taken IP course, respectively. IP course class hours were positively associated with core competency level (P<0.05) across five domains (except for domain D) and the total.

Conclusion The core competency level is relatively low among public health students in China. Setting IP courses should be considered as an effective way to improve students’ core competency. It is a step moving towards the IP education promotion, and further boosting the field of public health.

  • advocacy
  • health education
  • public health
  • cross-sectional study

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  • JZ and S-MW contributed equally.

  • Contributors ZY participated in the field investigation, was responsible for the data analysis and was the major contributor for writing the manuscript. KD provided considerable and valuable advice for the whole article and critically reviewed the article. HZ and FL participated in the field investigations. JZ provided valuable advice for the revision of the article. S-MW conceived the study and provided valuable advice for the whole article.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The survey was approved by the Ethics committee of medical research, School of Public Health, Fudan University (approval number IRB#2015-08-0560). Informed consent was obtained from all the student participants.

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

  • Data availability statement Data are available on reasonable request. Data will be available on reasonable request from the corresponding author: