Local injury information, community participation and injury reduction

Aust J Public Health. 1993 Dec;17(4):365-72.


Better injury prevention is now a national health priority in Australia. Applying the health promotion strategies of the Ottawa Charter to injury prevention forms the basis of the World Health Organization's worldwide Safe Communities program. Taking such a community-focused approach has led to quantifiable reductions in injuries in several overseas countries, particularly in Scandinavia where falls of up to 30 per cent in particular injuries have been reported over a three-year period. In the Illawarra area of New South Wales, data from local hospital emergency departments have been used as the basis for a 'community information' strategy, in an attempt to replicate this overseas experience in an Australian setting. Reductions of 17 per cent in attendances by children for injuries (P < 0.001) and a 14 per cent fall in accident-related hospital admissions of children (not statistically significant) have been observed over the course of the four-year intervention. Problems of community definition and external confounding influences outside the control of the project make it difficult to confirm a causal relationship. However, community information forms one important component in a comprehensive local injury-reduction strategy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention
  • Adolescent
  • Attitude to Health
  • Bicycling / injuries
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Community Health Services*
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Health Priorities
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • New South Wales / epidemiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / etiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*