TABLE 4.1 Examples of Effective Unintentional Injury Prevention Interventions

Injury Problem


Evaluation Studies

Bicycle injuries

Bicycle helmet use; mandatory helmet laws

Maimaris et al. (1994); Thompson et al. (1996a,b); Ni et al. (1997)

Choking and suffocation

Legislation and product design changes (e.g., refrigerator dis posal, warning labels on thin plastic bags)

Kraus (1985)

Falls in older adults

Weight-bearing exercise; multimodal programs (home visits by nurses, exercise programs, elimination of hazards, etc.); protective hip pads

Lauritzen et al. (1993); Tinetti et al. (1993, 1994)

Fires and burns

Smoke detectors; legislation regulating flammability of children's clothing; legislation requiring safe preset temperatures for water heaters

McLoughlin et al. (1977, 1982); Erdmann et al. (1991); Runyan et al. (1992); Mallonee et al. (1996)

Motor vehicle crashes

Safety belts; airbags; child safety seats; sobriety checkpoints; minimum legal drinking age laws

Baker-Dickman (1987); Womble (1988); Henry et al. (1996); NHTSA (1996)

Sports injuries

Mouthguards; equipment modification (e.g., breakaway bases); protective equipment (e.g., knee and elbow pads, helmets, wrist pads for inline skating)

Janda et al. (1988); Schieber et al. (1996)


SOURCE: National Committee (1989); Rivara et al. (1997a,b).

Research has helped to fuel awareness that some deaths from suicide are preventable through social and environmental changes. Different lines of evidence converge to suggest that broad-based public health approaches that seek to modify social and environmental risk factors may be enlisted for prevention purposes. Epidemiologic research has highlighted the need for interventions to prevent the presence of youth suicide ''clusters." Clusters are the occurrence of several suicides in the same community or vicinity, apparently triggered by one suicide (Gould et al., 1990). Furthermore, research has found that many adolescent suicide victims do not meet the clinical criteria for depression or other treatable mental disorders (Shaffer et al., 1988). Finally, research has found that reducing access to a means of suicide can lower the suicide rate. Studies from Great Britain in the 1970s found that as the carbon monoxide content of cooking gas was lowered (for reasons unrelated to suicide prevention), the overall suicide

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