publication, Demonstrating Your Program's Worth, provides a guide to assist injury practitioners and researchers in evaluating injury prevention programs (Thompson and McClintock, 1998). Local injury prevention practitioners need applied information on best practices based on current research. Likewise, practitioners can provide valuable input to researchers on areas requiring future research. Best practices should be informed by an overall assessment of evidence-based research and current practices in the field. Resource libraries, such as the Trauma Foundation's Injury and Violence Prevention Library, facilitate the flow of information from research to practice (Craig et al., 1998). This function is crucial to the success of state and local injury prevention efforts and consideration should be given to expanding the library and information networking efforts at NCIPC.
The 1989 report Injury Prevention: Meeting the Challenge provided information on then-current prevention interventions from a multidisciplinary perspective (National Committee, 1989). The report was designed to serve as a tool to adapt and combine research findings in light of local data and available resources. It reviewed interventions in terms of those proven effective (e.g., bicycle helmets), those that were promising (e.g., raising alcohol taxes to reduce availability), those ineffective or counterproductive (e.g., painted crosswalks), and creative ideas whose efficacy was unknown and should be studied (e.g., designated driver and safe ride programs). There is a need for additional and updated resources that provide information on effective prevention interventions.
Such an effort could be linked to reviews of evidence-based research on injury interventions, such as those conducted through the Cochrane Collaboration,4 and should be disseminated widely through technical assistance efforts. Cochrane Collaboration reviews relevant to the injury field have been completed on childhood injury prevention (Rivara. et al., 1998) and falls in the elderly (Gillespie et al., 1998), and are in progress on a number of other injury topics.
One of the difficulties in facilitating the translation of research into policy and practice is the limited communication between practitioners and researchers. Vehicles that may be utilized for synthesizing and disseminating research findings include publication of newsletters (e.g., NHTSA's Traffic Tech Transfer Series), publication of bulletins on topics of recent research (e.g., NIOSH's Alert series), and an annual conference to foster hi-directional communication between practitioners and researchers.
A crucial challenge faced by injury prevention professionals is the lack of public and legislative awareness of the scope of injury morbidity and mortality