Background Injuries are preventable causes of harm for adolescents. Two discrete studies were conducted: 1) global analysis of transport and unintentional injury (TUI) using the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2019; and 2) a systematic literature review of the evidence for effectiveness of interventions to address unintentional injury among adolescents.
Methods TUI deaths and disability adjusted life years (DALYs) for adolescents 10–24 years as absolute numbers and rates were sourced via GBD 2019 online and reported by age group, sex, socio-demographic index (SDI) and as trends from 1990–2019. A systematic review of peer-reviewed original research literature on adolescence injury prevention interventions published between 2010 and 2022 was conducted. Quality of evidence and equity were assessed.
Results In 2019, 369,000 deaths (58% transport) and 31.1 million DALYs (52% transport) in adolescents were due to TUI. TUI as a proportion of all-cause mortality has barely changed in three decades (26% in 1990 and 25% in 2019). Since 1990, absolute numbers of TUI deaths in low SDI nations have increased, while the unintentional injury DALY rate has remained largely unchanged in high SDI countries. The review found that most previous intervention research reported on sport injury programs, and from high income countries. Equity was poorly considered across the included studies.
Conclusion Injury causes significant health burden for adolescents, which is increasing in low SDI countries. Literature reporting injury prevention interventions favours high-income countries.
Learning Outcomes There is a need for new and evaluated interventions to address injury prevention, particularly in low SDI nations.
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