Social deprivation and the prevention of unintentional injury in childhood: a systematic review

Health Educ Res. 2002 Apr;17(2):221-37. doi: 10.1093/her/17.2.221.


There is a known association between social deprivation and risk of death from unintentional injury in childhood. In the UK context, these inequalities do not appear to be decreasing. This paper reports on the findings of a systematic review of the world literature between 1975 and 2000 on the prevention of childhood injuries, with particular reference to social deprivation. Literature was identified via electronic databases, key journals and informants. All papers were read independently by at least two reviewers and information was extracted using a standardized form. Results indicate that of 155 studies identified in the systematic review, 32 addressed the issue of social deprivation. The way social deprivation was defined in different studies varied considerably. The literature was not evenly spread across different injury types and did not reflect the burden of injury. There is a paucity of evidence relating to the prevention of child pedestrian injury. Very few studies examined the impact of interventions in different social groups. Without such evidence, it remains difficult for those involved in health promotion to know how to design and target interventions to address inequalities in child injury rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Psychosocial Deprivation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*