8 e-Letters

published between 2021 and 2024

  • Barry Pless - A Giant in Injury Prevention

    I had the pleasure and privilege of working as an Associate Editor for the journal "Injury Prevention" for several years alongside Barry as Editor-in-Chief. This story about how we first met says a lot about Barry. We first met at one of the early World Injury Prevention Conferences. We were both sitting on the front row in one of those parallel session rooms waiting to give our presentations. I had just had one of my first papers published in the first volume of Injury Prevention. I was rather over-awed to be sitting next to Barry, and even more over-awed to be giving a presentation in the same session as him. He leaned over and said how much he had liked my paper that had been published in Injury Prevention. I was amazed that he could remember one paper from so many and that he took the time and effort to tell me this. As a young researcher, his encouragement meant a lot to me. Typically, for him, he continued to encourage and support my development as a researcher and in later years I had the privilege of learning from his scientific integrity, wisdom and common sense through working with him on the journal. I am truly grateful to Barry for this. I know I was not unique in benefitting from Barry's support, encouragement and mentorship. He fulfilled this role with numerous researchers, and many of us would not be where we are today without his support.

    Barry's work as Editor of Injury Prevention has been inspirational. His leadership, vision, c...

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  • Improving the Peer Review Process

    Thanks to Professor Salmi for a thoughtful and insightful commentary spanning several topics. I read all with interest but respond in particular to the challenge of peer review. Weekly, I accept and conduct about one peer review for a journal, almost exclusively the five journals for which I serve on the Editorial Board (including Injury Prevention). In 2023, I will complete about 60 manuscript reviews. Also weekly, I turn away at least 5 other review requests, often recommending colleagues and former students as alternative reviewers. I have no idea if my patterns are typical, but I do know that the requests sometimes overwhelm me. I regret declining so many invitations, recognizing the value of peer review for quality science as well as the struggles of journal editors to find qualified reviewers, but I simply cannot fit more into my busy schedule.

    Assuming my behavior is at least somewhat typical, what is our solution? I wish I had a magic formula.. Professor Salmi offers several ideas, all of which I support (and yes, compensation for reviewing would be terrific, but I also recognize journal budgets are tight). I have a few other ideas to offer, most of which are already practiced to some extent:

    - Pass reviews from one journal to another. It is not unusual for me to be asked to review a manuscript that I have already reviewed for a different journal, the first of which chose to reject it. I know some journal families are passing reviews from one journal...

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  • Vale Ivor Barry Pless

    The influential leadership of Barry Pless is one of the reasons why I am now the Editor-in-Chief of the journal he founded. Early on in my injury research career, he often called on me to be an expert reviewer of papers relating to bicycle helmet wearing as there was significant interest in this topic in the 1990s and 2000s, in particular. As an early career researcher at that time, his selection of me to be a reviewer for this prestigious journal was an honour and a great research development opportunity for me.
    Also, influential for my early career shaping, were Barry’s items about the field and its leaders. One such item was a piece he wrote in the early days of Injury Prevention about the top 10 most published injury prevention researchers of all time. This proved to be one of the most influential items I’d read, and it shaped my career. I was particularly inspired to learn of people like John Langley and David Chalmers, injury research leaders from New Zealand, relatively close to where I was in Australia. They became good role models for me, and I actively sought them out as mentors. That would not have happened without Barry’s editorial items.
    On a more personal front, I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks of study leave in Canada in the mid-2000s. I added a side trip to Montreal to visit Barry and discuss publishing matters. Whilst our discussions were great, what I recall most was him being disappointed that he was unable to take me to have a true...

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  • Trends in the drowning mortality rate in Iran

    The article "Trends in the drowning mortality rate in Iran" by Pegah Derakhshan et al. in Injury Prevention · August 2020 DOI: 10.1136/injuryprev-2019-043225 is a valuable contribution to understanding the trend of drowning in Iran. However, It is true that the authors of the article used statistical methods to estimate the levels and trends of drowning mortality rate based on Death Registry System (DRS) data, which is known to be incomplete and subject to misclassification. In Iran, data sources for attributing fatal and non-fatal drowning are include DRS, FMS and INDR. However, it is important to note that drowning incidents and fatalities are universally underreported in the Iran.
    The Death Registry System (DRS) is a new system, managed by Iran’s Ministry of Health, is currently being expanded to the whole of Iran. Records for this registry system are also generated using death certificate information. If not available – by verbal autopsy. DRS that information is collected from records generated by many other sources: rural health house, health and treatment centres (rural, urban), hospitals, register offices (1). Previous study resulted that DRS registry reported 60% of all rural cases, while the records reported a slight majority of urban cases (about 51%) (2).
    Iran's Forensic Medicine Organization manages the Forensic Medical System (FMS), which is used to identify many injury-related deaths in the country. The FMS records are based on inf...

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  • Author Response to Missed Literature

    Thank you for reading the study. We appreciate your feedback and the suggestion of papers to include.

    The Miller et al. 2021 paper was not yet indexed in EconLit at the time of the systematic review pull; therefore, was not included. However, even if we had identified the study it would not have been included in the final list of manuscripts as it does not include original analysis but rather combines previous estimates with new counts.

    The Yang et al. 2014 paper was excluded during review as it included non-original analysis. This paper used several estimates from previously published literature and applied to Iowa counts.

    Based on this response, we are issuing an erratum that clarifies that our manuscript only included research with original costs as inputs or outputs.

    You are correct that we omitted several non-peer reviewed studies. In the study we state, “This review was limited to peer-reviewed publications and excluded books, non-peer reviewed publications, white papers and dissertations.”

  • Missed Literature

    This review has not considered several relevant previously published items. These include:

     TR Miller, MA Cohen, D Swedler, B Ali, D Hendrie. Incidence and Costs of Personal and Property
    Crimes in the United States, 2017, Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis, 12:1, 24-54, 2021.

     JZ Yang, TR Miller, N Zhang, B LeHew, C Peek-Asa. Incidence and Cost of Sexual Violence in Iowa,
    American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 47:2, 198-202, 2014.

    It also omits mention of Californian studies on the costs of sexual violence and on the costs of firearm
    injury in Santa Clara County that are not in the peer-review journal literature, as well as the firearm
    injury cost article in Mother Jones, and several other city firearm injury cost studies available on the

  • Dementia after traumatic spinal cord injury: difference in the risk of quadriplegia as compared to paraplegia

    Nearly 60% of patients with traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) experience different degrees of cognitive dysfunction, including impairment of memory and abstract reasoning.[1] A retrospective cohort study using Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database revealed that SCI significantly increased the likelihood of dementia.[2] This result aligns with previous clinical reports stating that patients with SCI frequently develop long-term cognitive impairments.[1]

    I read the article “Savings of loss-of-life expectancy and lifetime medical costs from prevention of spinal cord injuries: analysis of nationwide data followed for 17 years” [3] with deep interest. The study investigators have reported the outcomes from a comprehensive and long-term follow-up effort exploring the impact of traumatic SCI in Taiwan. In this study, Lien et al. classified traumatic SCI into traumatic quadriplegia and paraplegia with different mechanisms of injury. They reported that traumatic quadriplegia incurs higher lifetime medical costs than traumatic paraplegia.[3] Upon comparing the clinical characteristics of patients with traumatic quadriplegia and paraplegia, the prevalence of dementia after quadriplegia resulting from motor vehicle accidents (MVA) was found to be higher than that after paraplegia resulting from MVA (3.7% vs. 1.5%, p < 0.05).[3] The strength of this study lies in its comprehensive data on the SCI level, mechanisms of injury, and medical...

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  • Partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: an emergency into the emergency

    Partner violence during the COVID-19 pandemic: an emergency into the emergency

    Pietro Ferrara, MD 1 *
    Luciana Albano, MD 2

    1. Center for Public Health Research, University of Milano – Bicocca, Monza, Italy
    2. Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy

    * Corresponding author:
    Pietro Ferrara
    Center for Public Health Research, University of Milan - Bicocca
    Via Cadore 48, I-20900 Monza, Italy
    Phone +39 (0)39-2333097/8

    To the Editor,
    With interest, we read the publication by Jetelina and coll., titled “Changes in intimate partner violence during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in the USA” [1], in which authors described changes in patterns of intimate partner violence (IPV) during lockdown restriction implemented in response to novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak.
    Similarly in Italy, a significant increase of IPV cases was recorded as early as the first weeks of March, when social isolation forced people to stay at home after the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, the government instituted the free phone number 1522 as help line for IPV victims, with the aim to reach mainly women, who always experience the greater burden of domestic violence and abuse [2]. The National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) rel...

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