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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


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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