Project Burn Prevention: outcome and implications

Am J Public Health. 1982 Mar;72(3):241-7. doi: 10.2105/ajph.72.3.241.


Project Burn Prevention was designed and implemented to determine the ability of a public education program to increase awareness about burn hazards and reduce the incidence and severity of burn injuries. Media messages were transmitted to residents of a large metropolitan area; separate school and community interventions were implemented in two demographically similar communities within the Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA). A second metropolitan area and two of its communities served as control sites. Messages for specific, high-risk age groups emphasized flame burns because of their severity and scalds because of their frequency. Knowledge gains were demonstrable only as a result of the school program. Neither the school program nor the media campaign reduced burn incidence or severity; the community intervention may have brought about a moderate, temporary reduction in injuries. Multiplicity of messages, brevity of the campaign, and separation of the interventions are among possible reasons for the program's failure to significantly reduce burn injuries. Education for personal responsibility is not sufficient. Product modification and environmental redesign must be instituted through education and legislation for successful control of burn injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Burns / prevention & control*
  • Child
  • Communication
  • Data Collection
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Education*
  • Humans
  • Massachusetts