Acceptability of Long Versus Short Firearm Safety Education Videos in the Emergency Department: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

Ann Emerg Med. 2023 Oct;82(4):482-493. doi: 10.1016/j.annemergmed.2023.03.023. Epub 2023 May 2.


Study objective: Safe firearm storage is protective against pediatric firearm injuries. We sought to compare a 3-minute versus 30-second safe firearm storage video in terms of acceptability of video content and use in the pediatric emergency department (PED).

Methods: We conducted a randomized controlled trial in a large PED (from March to September 2021). Participants were English-speaking caregivers of noncritically ill patients. Participants were surveyed about child safety behaviors (including firearm storage), then shown 1 of 2 videos. Both videos described safe storage principles; the 3-minute video included temporary firearm removal and a survivor testimonial. The primary outcome was acceptability, measured by responses on a 5-point Likert scale (strongly disagree to strongly agree). A survey at 3 months evaluated information recall. Baseline characteristics and outcomes were compared between groups using Pearson chi-squared, Fisher exact, and Wilcoxon Mann Whitney tests as appropriate. Absolute risk difference for categoric variables and mean difference for continuous variables are reported with 95% confidence interval (CI).

Results: Research staff screened 728 caregivers; 705 were eligible and 254 consented to participate (36%); 4 withdrew. Of 250 participants, most indicated acceptability in terms of setting (77.4%) and content (86.6%), and doctors discussing firearm storage (78.6%), with no difference between groups. More caregivers viewing the longer video felt the length appropriate (99.2%) compared with the shorter video (81.1%, difference 18.1%, 95% CI 11.1 to 25.1).

Conclusions: We show that video-based firearm safety education is acceptable among study participants. This can provide consistent education to caregivers in PEDs and needs further study in other settings.

Trial registration: NCT0516887.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caregivers
  • Child
  • Emergency Service, Hospital
  • Firearms*
  • Humans
  • Pilot Projects
  • Safety
  • Wounds, Gunshot* / prevention & control

Associated data