Design and conduct of occupational injury intervention studies: a review of evaluation strategies

Am J Ind Med. 1997 Aug;32(2):164-79. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199708)32:2<164::aid-ajim7>;2-z.


Occupational injuries continue to exact a great toll on American workers and their employers--the physical and financial costs are enormous. However, in the current political climate, few employers or regulatory agencies will implement injury prevention interventions without specific evidence of their effectiveness. This paper reviews the literature on the design, conduct, and evaluation of occupational injury interventions. Our review suggests that randomized controlled trials are rare and also notes that the quasi-experimental studies in the literature often use the weakest designs. We recommend a hierarchical approach to evaluating occupational injury interventions--beginning with qualitative studies, following up with simple quasi-experimental designs using historical controls, continuing with more elaborate quasi-experimental designs comparing different firms' experience, and, when necessary, implementing randomized controlled trials.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / classification
  • Accidents, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Health Promotion / methods
  • Health Promotion / standards
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / classification
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / standards
  • Program Evaluation / methods*
  • Program Evaluation / standards
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / statistics & numerical data
  • Research Design* / standards
  • Wounds and Injuries / classification
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control*