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The spectrum of prevention: developing a comprehensive approach to injury prevention
  1. Larry Cohen,
  2. Susan Swift
  1. Prevention Institute, 1181 Colusa Ave, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA
  1. Correspondence:
 Mr Cohen
 (e-mail: larry{at}


Objective—The purpose of this paper is to describe the “spectrum of prevention”, a framework for developing multifaceted approaches to injury prevention. The value of the tool is that it can help practitioners develop and structure comprehensive initiatives.

Methods—The spectrum is comprised of six inter-related action levels: (1) strengthening individual knowledge and skills, (2) promoting community education, (3) educating providers, (4) fostering coalitions and networks, (5) changing organizational practices, and (6) influencing policy and legislation. Activities at each of these levels have the potential to support each other and promote overall community health and safety.

Conclusions—The spectrum of prevention is a tool which can help practitioners and policy leaders move beyond a primarily educational approach to achieve broad community goals through injury prevention strategies that include policy development. This framework has been endorsed and applied in a variety of disciplines, however it has not been formally evaluated, a process that could clarify the scope of its effectiveness.

  • spectrum of prevention
  • comprehensive approach
  • coalition building

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