Methods for conducting systematic reviews of the evidence of effectiveness and economic efficiency of interventions to reduce injuries to motor vehicle occupants

Am J Prev Med. 2001 Nov;21(4 Suppl):23-30. doi: 10.1016/s0749-3797(01)00379-8.


Background: Motor vehicle occupant injury prevention is included in the Guide to Community Preventive Services because of the enormous health impact of these largely preventable injuries. This article describes the methods for conducting systematic literature reviews of interventions for three key injury prevention strategies: increasing child safety seat use, increasing safety belt use, and decreasing alcohol-impaired driving.

Methods: Systematic review methods follow those established for the Guide to Community Preventive Services and include: (1) recruiting a systematic review development team, (2) developing a conceptual approach for selecting interventions and for selecting outcomes that define the success of the interventions, (3) defining and conducting a search for evidence of effectiveness, (4) evaluating and summarizing the body of evidence of effectiveness, (5) evaluating other potential beneficial and harmful effects of the interventions, (6) evaluating economic efficiency, (7) identifying implementation barriers, (8) translating the strength of the evidence into recommendations, and (9) identifying and summarizing research gaps.

Results: The systematic review development team evaluated 13 interventions for the three strategic areas. More than 10,000 titles and abstracts were identified and screened; of these, 277 met the a priori systematic review inclusion criteria. Systematic review findings for each of the 13 interventions are provided in the accompanying articles in this supplement.

Conclusion: The general methods established for conducting systematic reviews for the Guide to Community Preventive Services were successfully applied to interventions to reduce injuries to motor vehicle occupants.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic*
  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Community Health Services
  • Decision Making
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Equipment / statistics & numerical data
  • Preventive Health Services
  • Review Literature as Topic*
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data
  • United States
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*