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Pediatric practice based evaluation of the Steps to Prevent Firearm Injury program
  1. Pamela J Oatis1,
  2. Nancy M Fenn Buderer2,
  3. Peter Cummings3,
  4. Rosemarie Fleitz4
  1. 1Department of Pediatrics, St Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio
  2. 2Research Department, St Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio
  3. 3Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine and Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  4. 4Pediatric Clinic, St Vincent Mercy Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio
  1. Correspondence and reprint requests to:
 Dr Pamela Oatis, St Vincent Family Care Center, 2213 Franklin Avenue, Toledo, OH 43620, USA.


Objective—To estimate the prevalence of gun ownership and methods of gun storage in homes of pediatric patients before and after an educational intervention.

Design—Before and after trial.

Setting—Hospital based, inner city, pediatric primary care practice.

Participants—Consecutive sample of parents of patients with appointments August to November 1994.

Intervention—Before the intervention, participants completed an anonymous questionnaire regarding ownership and storage of guns in their home. The intervention followed the Steps to Prevent Firearm Injury program of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It began after the parent completed the questionnaire and was reinforced at subsequent visits until July 1995. Families completing a baseline questionnaire and returning to the office July to October 1995 were resurveyed.

Main outcome measure—Reported change in gun ownership and methods of storage.

Results—A gun(s) in the home was reported by 8.7% of respondents. Matched baseline and follow up questionnaires were available for 23.6% of families. In these, gun ownership reportedly decreased after intervention from 9.4% to 7.0%, handgun ownership fell from 5.4% to 3.0%, and long gun ownership fell from 6.1% to 5.5%. Storing guns outside of a locked container did not change from the baseline prevalence of 2.7%, but keeping any gun loaded fell from 1.6% to 0.5%. All p values were >0.05.

Conclusion—This study was unable to demonstrate a statistically significant decline in gun ownership or improvement in gun storage after a practice based intervention designed to encourage these behaviors.

  • firearms
  • prevalence
  • intervention study

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