Introduction: Despite widespread application of the public health approach to injury prevention, there is an acknowledged limitation in the extent to which it facilitates translation of research evidence to injury prevention practice.
Aim: In this paper we clarify the ecoepidemiological principles that underpin the public health approach to injury control in order to support explicit efforts to address the multilevel component causes and improve the evidence base on which effective program implementation depends. KEYPOINTS: If injury causation is understood in terms of the ecoepidemiological model rather than the proximal risk factor model, then quantification of the context in which the event occurs is evidently as important as quantification of the energy exchange event itself. The ecoepidemiological model of injury causation recognises barriers and facilitators to injury prevention as component causes of population burden of injury and thus delineates these factors as legitimate targets for intervention. Injury prevention programs that are designed to specifically address the factors causally related to the program's implementation, as well as the contextual factors that determine the characteristics of the energy exchange event, are more likely to be implemented and more likely to result in effective uptake of recommended energy exchange countermeasures.
Conclusion: Interventions to reduce the burden of injury in the population should address the individual level factors that increase the risk of injury, but also the upstream factors that influence the extent to which there is widespread adoption by individuals of the recommended countermeasures.
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