Background When designing a logo for the Nepal Injury Research Centre a predicament arose: there is no direct Nepali translation for the word ‘injury’. A ‘loan-word’ was used, but this highlighted a broader issue – what do different stakeholders in Nepal understand when we talk about injuries, and what implications might this have for engaging them in research/intervention?
Methods To ground our exploration of this topic meaningfully for different stakeholders, we iteratively refined our research design. Experts in injury prevention/occupational health/sociology prepared a proposal, shared through consultation in academic circles. Feedback informed design of an engagement-workshop in December 2019, involving 36 participants from anthropology/sociology/social-work/development-work and health backgrounds. Outputs informed design of the next stage, which is ongoing.
Results Professional backgrounds influenced concepts of injury that emerged; where sociologists highlighted the role of social structures, health professionals referenced disruption of ‘health’ as defined by WHO. In addition to physical harms, participants mentioned economic, social/cultural, mental/psychological and spiritual harms. Groups defined injury-types differently, and categorized/grouped these in diverse ways–not all perspectives aligned with WHO International Classification of diseases.
Conclusion Multi-dimensional concepts of injury have implications for how we engage with policy-makers on prevention, and design of interventions to mitigate harm. Varied concepts of injury could inform epidemiological survey design, to elicit injuries which might not otherwise be reported.
Learning Outcomes Exploring our research field from first principles can help surface our underlying assumptions, as well as sensitizing researchers to the need to identify/engage with meanings important to stakeholders we seek to influence.
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