Purpose Although injury is the third leading cause of death in the United States (US), and the leading cause of death for ages 1–44, injury-related curricula are often unavailable to students of public health. The purpose of this project was to assess the availability of injury- and violence-related curricula in public health education.
Methods We surveyed websites of all Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited schools and programs of public health (both graduate and undergraduate) in the US. Degree program catalogs and class syllabi were searched to identify the presence and types of injury- and violence-related curricula offered at each school/program. School/program characteristics were also recorded, including type (schools versus programs), size and region, public health degrees offered, and presence of Injury Control Research Centers (ICRCs). Using descriptive statistics and mapping approaches, we examined the availability and types of injury- and violence-related curricula by school/program characteristics.
Results Out of 178 CEPH-accredited schools/programs of public health, only 43 (24%) offered injury- or violence-related curricula. Of these, most (72%) were schools of public health. Some curricula covered both injury and violence topics (35%), while others focused exclusively on violence (30%). Regionally, the northeast had the most schools/programs with injury- and violence-related curricula (6.1 schools per 100,000 miles) and the western region had the least (0.5 schools per 100,000 miles). Schools/programs with ICRCs were more likely to offer injury or violence curriculum.
Conclusion Results of this project suggest that access to injury- and violence-related curricula continues to be limited across schools and programs of public health.
Significance/Contribution Training efforts led by the Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Prevention (SAVIR) or other professional organizations might fill this gap by providing distance-learning opportunities that are accessible across regions. Future research should survey school/program leaders to identify additional facilitators to increasing curricula availability.
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