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Using Local Injury Surveillance for Community-Based Injury Prevention: an Analysis of Scandinavian WHO Safe Community and Canadian Safe Community Foundation Programs
Linköping University, Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, Division of Preventive and Social Medicine and Public Health Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Department of Justice, Victoria, Australia.
Safe Communities Foundation of New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand.
2007 (English)In: International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion, ISSN 1745-7300, Vol. 14, no 1, 35-43 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Injury surveillance is widely recognized as a critical prerequisite for effective injury prevention, yet few studies have investigated its use by community-based injury prevention programmes. This study examined the extent to which local injury data were collected, documented, analysed, linked to injury prevention action and used for evaluation among WHO Safe Communities in Scandinavia (25 programmes) and the Canadian Safe Community Foundation (SCF) network (16 programmes). For each programme, a key informant with relevant local knowledge was selected to respond to an emailed questionnaire. The study demonstrates that community-based injury prevention programmes experience difficulties accessing and effectively utilizing local injury surveillance data. The findings suggest that the responding SCF programmes approach injury prevention more scientifically than the Scandinavian WHO-designated Safe Community programmes, by making greater use of injury surveillance for assessment, integration into prevention strategies and measures, and evaluation. Despite study limitations, such as the low response rate among Canadian programmes and a large number of non-responses to two questions, the results highlight the importance of, and need for, greater use of local injury surveillance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 14, no 1, 35-43 p.
Keyword [en]
wounds & injuries, prevention, community organization, questionnaires, response rates, Scandinavia, Canada, community-based injury surveillance
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13877DOI: 10.1080/17457300600864447OAI: diva2:22090
Available from: 2006-06-26 Created: 2006-06-26 Last updated: 2009-05-08
In thesis
1. Opening the Black Box of Community-Based Injury Prevention Programmes: Towards Improved Understanding of Factors that Influence Programme Effectiveness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Opening the Black Box of Community-Based Injury Prevention Programmes: Towards Improved Understanding of Factors that Influence Programme Effectiveness
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Despite wide application of community-based programmes to prevent injuries and promote health over the last 25 years, there is a paucity of evaluations from which to obtain evidence regarding the effectiveness and critical factors contributing to achieving effectiveness of these programmes. Research on community-based injury prevention programmes thus far has been driven by the question “does it work?” However, merely establishing whether a programme works or not provides insufficient information to generate new knowledge about these programmes. Many programme evaluations have been characterised as “black box” evaluations, with inadequate information about the intervening and contextual factors that mediate the relationship between the programme and its effects. Opening the black box is essential to developing the best evidence in relation to community-based programmes.

Keeping the question “does it work?” in mind as a departure point, the seven studies of this thesis address different aspects of the questions “why does it work?” and “how does it work?” The aim is to aid in the understanding of factors that influence the operation and effectiveness of community-based injury prevention programmes.

The findings from the studies support a number of conclusions with regard to the three research questions posed. There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of communitybased injury prevention programmes. Some of the problems of providing convincing evidence are due to the methodological difficulties of evaluating these programs.

Contextual conditions and the amount of financial resources available to a programme are key factors associated with the effectiveness of community-based injury prevention programmes. There is inconclusive evidence regarding the importance of some of the socalled success factors described in the scientific literature for achieving effectiveness. While many programmes have access to locally collected injury data, they devote limited time to the analysis of this ssembled data. When selecting interventions, many programmes rely upon tuitive and subjective methods, e.g. discussions in networks, feedback from the general public, and experiences gained in their own work. This style of decision making is “experience-based” rather than evidence-based.

The theoretical underpinning of the community-based approach has certain shortcomings, which could explain some of the difficulties in demonstrating effectiveness seen with many of these programmes. Programmes overwhelmingly define geographical units as communities. However, these entities can be highly heterogeneous and characterised by a weak sense of community, which can yield insufficient community member participation and intersectoral collaboration, as well as inadequate reach for many programmes. At the same time, none of the most plausible assumptions of the community-based approach appears to be fully or widely applied in programme practice. The implication is that many community-based programmes do not function at an optimum level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för hälsa och samhälle, 2006
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 948
Community-based, injury prevention, programmes, evaluation, effectiveness, Samhällsbaserad, skadeprevention, program, utvärdering, effektivitet
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-7001 (URN)91-85497-85-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-06-07, Aulan, Hälsans hus, Hälsouniversitet, Linköping, 13:00 (English)
Available from: 2006-06-26 Created: 2006-06-26 Last updated: 2013-09-05

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