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Roadway Tragedies: When Will the Madness End?

16 Jun, 17 | by Angy El-Khatib

[Angy El-Khatib] This post is from guest blogger Bethesda Yohannes. Bethesda is an intern at the Injury Prevention Center of Greater Dayton in Dayton, Ohio, United States. She is currently a second year undergradute student in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University. 

As the journey to reduce traffic-related fatalities continues, more information is becoming available to aid in this expedition. Traffic fatalities have been present ever since the time of buggies and horse-drawn carriages. Although traffic-related casualties have occurred since the beginning of vehicle transportation, the tolerance for these accidents remains low due to the high potential for prevention. Recently, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published a report which explores the correlation between mortalities and factors such as weekends, unemployment, and technology.

The 2017 IIHS report reveals that traffic-related death rates increase during weekends and holidays. According to the IIHS, increasing death rates can be linked to risky behaviors that take place during these periods. Although roadway deaths have decreased since 1998, the pattern of deaths remains stagnant. As Charles Farmer, IIHS Vice President for Research and Statistical Services, said, “The riskiest times remain risky.” However, with proper enforcements these rates can decline. New Years Eve and [American] Independence Day are the two holidays with the highest, traffic-related fatality rates; however, when increased impaired-driving enforcement (i.e. – DUI checks) are initiated during these holidays, traffic-related fatalities went down 5% during New Years Eve and 13% during Independence Day.

Although traffic-related death patterns have remained the same, they have decreased within the last decade; this can partly be attributed to advances in technology relating to motor vehicles. Improved safety technology and newer car models have resulted in slightly reduced driver death rates. Factors, such as the size of the vehicle, are being investigated; for example, small, four-door cars were found to have the highest death rate (87 deaths per million) whereas SUVs had the lowest death rates (6 deaths per million). Crash avoidance technology and “self-driving” vehicles could, in theory, reduce crash rates. However, as Farmer points out, “Improvement in vehicle technology are important, but we also need to address old problems such as speeding and driving while impaired.”

Unfortunately, improvements in the economy do not always equate to lower death rates; the decline of unemployment rates due to a flourishing economy have been linked to the increase in traffic fatalities. This increase is not only due to an improved economy, but rather the increase of vehicle miles as more people attend work. If the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics prediction of an annual decline of 1.7% in unemployment from 2014 to 2024 continues, it is expected that the , traffic-related death rates will reduce from 35,092 in 2015 to 34,400 by 2024. An improved economy may be related to increases in highway fatalities or accidents at the workplace, but lifestyle factors could also play a role. We know that smoking, alcohol use, obesity, and physical inactivity rise when unemployment rates fall.

The exact correlation between unemployment and traffic-related death rates are still being researched as more data about the multiple factors continues to be collected. Researchers remain puzzled about the most effective and efficient methods to prevent traffic-related deaths, but efforts continue. Partnerships with court systems, law enforcement agencies, hospitals, and other community organizations (such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving or the American Automobile Association) allow injury prevention professionals to identify high-risk individuals and make a population-level impact. Surveillance of traffic-related crashes and reports, such as the IIHS report, are necessary to better inform policy and/or community-level interventions.

 

6 reasons why students should attend conferences

14 Jun, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

 

[Sheree Bekker] This post is from guest blogger Amy Vassallo. Amy is a PhD candidate at the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney and Research Assistant at the Prevention Research Collaboration.  As an advocate for women in science she is the student representative on the Franklin Women Peer Advisory Board and curates their monthly e-newsletter. In 2017 Amy is also the student representative on the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference Scientific Committee.

 

As research students we are encouraged, and at some institutes required, to attend conferences.  Sure they’re a great way to present your work and research findings, but there is so much more to be gained from conference attendance beyond an 8-10 minute presentation. So what are some of these opportunities and how can you achieve the most out of the few days?

 

  1. The opportunity to present your research (well!)

At the end of the day this still needs to be the first priority for conferencing.  A poorly prepared presentation sticks out like a sore thumb and the audience certainly can tell the difference between a speaker who is nervous (and be very forgiving towards them) and a speaker who is winging it (and be far less forgiving). Be organized and submit your abstract before the deadline, or if you’ve missed out keep an eye out for late breaking abstract opportunities, which often come up in the months just before the conference.  Also consider submitting for a poster presentation in addition to your oral presentation.  Electronic posters are increasingly popular at conferences and are no longer the unfortunate cousin of the oral presentation hidden behind the muffins at afternoon tea.  E-posters are less work to prepare than traditional posters, so feasible to do in addition to an oral, and gives you lots more opportunity for discussion and two-way dialogue about your research.

 

  1. The opportunity to meet other students

Conferences early on in your career can be frightfully intimidating, especially if you’re not there with your supervisor or colleagues from your research institute.  Meeting a group of other students early on can make all the difference.  Many students feel like a fish out of water at their first few conferences (or remember that feeling) and therefore actively want to make new connections. So attend any and all of the social events for students and introduce yourself to people.  You know you will already have a few things in common since you’re at the same conference and experiencing post grad life. Your fellow students may also be your future research collaborators, so these student friendships you build at conferences could be of huge benefit into your future career.

 

  1. The opportunity to meet leaders in your field

Sometimes it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel of your study program, and meeting or listening to inspiring leaders in your field can be just what’s needed to reinvigorate you.  Be prepared and read the conference program and speaker list beforehand.  Is there someone you’re simply desperate to meet one-on-one?  Perhaps a mid-career researcher?  Contact them beforehand to arrange a time to talk, as you shouldn’t expect to bump into everyone at morning tea. But this comes with a warning, make sure you have a clear intention as they will inevitably ask ‘so what is it that you want from me’ and you need to be prepared with a response.

 

  1. The opportunity for careers information and inspiration

Jobs in injury prevention are varied, and that’s one reason why this field is so appealing.  Being at a conference and seeing the breadth of attendees and presentations can provide invaluable advice and inspiration for students about what to expect post-graduation, whether you intend to remain in academia or not.  Have a look in the conference program for any careers focused sessions designed for students and early career researchers.  Conferences are also a good opportunity to find out about professional organizations in your field (like the AIPN for example).  Joining organizations such as these provides you with a network of colleagues, and often a discount on your conference registration or the chance to apply for a student award. Once you get to the conference browse through the sponsor stalls, you never know what inspiration you might find there.

 

  1. The opportunity for skills development and to learn something new

It’s increasingly common for conferences to have satellite skills development workshops either held in the preceding days or over breakfast.  Be sure to check out the conference website beforehand, as these may require an additional registration, but can help make it easier to justify the need for conference travel.  Conferences also provide the opportunity to learn about areas of research you may have never heard of. Try going to some concurrent presentation sessions on a topic you’re less familiar with, you might learn about a different research method or skill that could be innovatively applied to your area.

 

  1. The opportunity to have fun

Go to the side events – the workshops, the pre-conference tours, the conference dinner – just do it!  They always offer a chance to learn something new (related or not to your research) and can help with the nerves and anxiety you might be feeling about more formal conference networking.  Delegates get the chance to let their hair down at these events, and that gives you the chance to see the person behind the research expert, make some friends and have a bit of fun, as a student you deserve it!

 

At this year’s Australian Injury Prevention Network conference, the scientific committee have taken these six goals as the inspiration for the development of an exciting conference program for students.  There will be a focus on posters, a preconference walking tour and informal presentations, a careers panel, a preconference workshop on meta-analysis and a speed networking session just for students designed to help you develop your research pitch. All the details of these events are available on the conference website.

There’s strength in numbers when it comes to injury prevention

11 May, 17 | by Bridie Scott-Parker

This week marks the Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week. As noted on the website, the focus is

on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries.

Speed contributes to around one-third of all fatal road traffic crashes in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.

Countries successfully reducing road traffic deaths have done so by prioritizing safety when managing speed. Among the proven strategies to address speed include:

  • Building or modifying roads to include features that calm traffic
  • Establishing speed limits to the function of each road
  • Enforcing speed limits
  • Installing in-vehicle technologies
  • Raising awareness about the dangers of speeding.

The Fourth UN Global Road Safety Week seeks to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and generate action on measures to address speed, thereby saving lives on the roads.

One of the ways that injury prevention researchers – such as myself – can increase their capacity for influence is working with others who also have the capacity for influence. Regular readers of the blog will recognise my repeated recommendation to connect, collaborate, and achieve; indeed I’ve often featured my perspectives regarding the many and varied benefits that arise from such actions.

Today, for something a little different, I am delighted to feature a blog written by my colleague, Ms Julia Carter, the Writer and Content Marketing Specialist at Youi Insurance, as she shares some thoughts regarding working with an injury prevention researcher:

 

At Youi, we know there’s a huge gap in the car insurance market. Insurers are providing cover for when things go wrong on the road, but what are we actually doing to prevent those things from happening?

Knowledge is Power

We believe we have a responsibility as insurers to help protect our customers the best we can, and not just by offering them cover for a range of insured events, but by equipping them with tools and resources that help avoid those events in the first place.

Engage an Expert

In addition to regularly writing articles about road safety and publishing them on our “On The Road” blog, we have partnered with Dr. Bridie Scott-Parker to focus on injury prevention. Dr. Bridie’s expertise perfectly complements our content mission to raise awareness for road safety. We are currently finalizing production for a new VLOG featuring Dr Bridie’s research, which we hope will engage and inspire various road users to commit to road safety.

Be Seen to be Heard

Of course sometimes the easiest way to get people to listen is to speak directly to them. That’s why we recently hosted a #SlowDownDay as part of the 4th annual United Nations Global Road Safety Week. The event encouraged our staff to take a few minutes out of their busy day to slow down, grab a snack and learn about road safety from experts in the field, including Dr. Bridie and the Queensland Fire & Emergency Services. We also invited our partners from the Sunshine Coast Animal Refuge to share some tips on preventing animal collisions, and Automotive Service Centres (ABS) discussed the importance of regular car servicing and brake check-ups to ensure safe driving.

Strength in Skills & Numbers

One thing we’ve learned since taking this more robust approach to road safety awareness is that people want to stay safe on the roads. Everyone’s been touched by a road collision in some way or another, and we all agree that we need to do our part in making the roads a safer place for everyone. That said, we have found that getting people to take the time to read or watch content about road safety requires a variety of skills. In this day and age of social media and information overload, there is so much content online that most of it just gets lost. Having someone as enthusiastic and passionate as Dr. Bridie deliver road safety education is instrumental, but we also need to host that content in the right place, boost it through the right channels, and throw all of our resources behind it to ensure the message gets across.

 

We are extremely excited about what the future of this partnership holds and its potential to bring Dr. Bridie’s research to a wider audience through a strategic content marketing approach. We encourage all businesses and individuals to seek out local road safety authorities and create similar partnerships, because when it comes to injury prevention, there is strength in numbers.

 

 

New free online Injury Prevention course

10 May, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

[Sheree Bekker] Dr Safa Abdalla contacted us with news of this new Injury Prevention course for those interested in public health, available as a  free standalone self-study course on an open online courses platform. In this post, she and co-author Prof Richard Heller share more about its development, purpose, and content. 

This post was written by Dr Safa Abdalla (Ireland) and Prof Richard Heller (Australia) on behalf of the course development team, which also includes Dr Victoria Ononenze (UK) and Dr Kavi Bhalla (USA).

In an increasingly digitally connected world, knowledge exchange and affordable access to high quality professional development have never been more feasible, an opportunity seized upon by Peoples-uni. Peoples-uni is a UK-based charity dedicated to offer affordable education in Public Health. Its main mission is to contribute to improvements in the health of populations in low- to middle-income countries by building Public Health capacity via e-learning at very low cost. To do that, Peoples-uni initiative offers master-level educative programs and short Open Online Courses (OOCs). Since its establishment in 2007, individual course module development and delivery teams have involved more than 300 volunteers from more than 40 different countries.

With the majority of injury deaths taking place in low- and middle- income countries, the engagement and expertise of public health professionals in those countries in injury prevention is vital for tackling the problem. While public health skills are transferable and equally applicable to the full range of public health issues, it was still pertinent to ensure that any educational initiative benefiting professionals in those countries included an opportunity to learn about the language and specifics of injury prevention, at the same time helping to bring more attention to the issue.

To that end, Peoples-uni has debuted its new, free, short online course, Injury Prevention (available through http://ooc.peoples-uni.org). The course has been prepared by an international team of experts and is designed to help students learn how to collect action-oriented information on the burden of injury in their setting, understand the causes and risk factors for injury, and develop and evaluate intervention programs relevant to their setting. This is underpinned by the principles and characteristics of a public health approach to prevention. You pace yourself through the course, which is available at any time, and you can gain a certificate of completion, through accessing the resources and taking the quiz. The Injury Prevention course is also available for academic credit. For more information visit http://www.peoples-uni.org/.

We consider this introductory course a unique addition to the few self-paced courses on injury prevention out there. It is concise, avoids bandwidth-demanding media, and relies on carefully selected copy-right cleared publications that our audience can freely access and work through independently. While some of those resources relate to specific external causes, we do not single out specific injuries for focus but rather generically fit learning about injury prevention in a public health approach framework. We then challenge participants to test their learning by applying it in specific situations. The course fits well with other standalone Peoples-uni OOCs, e.g. Global Mental Health and Global Health Informatics that can be used by participants to further explore these issues that are connected with the content of the course. We intend to continue to improve and develop this course to make it more responsive to our target audience’s needs based on their feedback. Those for whom the course is too introductory can still help by taking a look and giving us feedback on how to improve it while keeping it as ‘resource non-demanding’ as possible. So check it out and let us know what you think!

Ioni Lewis | People in Injury Prevention

3 May, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

[Sheree Bekker] In the lead up to the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, I invited keynote speaker Ioni Lewis to answer a few questions for our blog.

Dr Ioni Lewis has 15 years’ experience in road safety and traffic psychology research. She is based at the Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q) where she is currently a Senior Research Fellow. Ioni’s expertise is in the development and evaluation of road safety advertising messages, drawing upon social psychological perspectives. She has led the development of an innovative conceptual framework, The Step approach to Message Design and Testing (SatMDT) which she has applied in relation to the development and evaluation of road safety campaigns addressing high risk behaviours. Ioni has an extensive publication record comprising peer-reviewed journals, peer-reviewed full papers and abstracts for conferences, as well as reports for Government and Industry. Ioni has received invitations to present at international and national forums. In 2015, she was invited to the USA to consult on the development and evaluation of a large-scale National Driver Safety Education Campaign funded by the National Safety Council. In 2014, she was invited to present on health communications for injury prevention at the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia. Ioni was the developer and Chair of the Organising Committee for the inaugural Australasian Symposium of Health Communication, Advertising and Marketing (Health CAM) in 2014. The Symposium, the only one of its kind to be dedicated to Health Communications in Australasia, featured international and national experts as guest speakers. Ioni was also Chair of the Scientific Committee of the 2015 Australasian Road Safety Conference (ARSC).

1. Tell us about your training and role in injury prevention

I have been working in the field of injury prevention research, and specifically in the area of road safety and traffic psychology, since 2002 when I commenced my Honours at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety – Queensland (CARRS-Q), Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Currently, I am a Senior Research Fellow at CARRS-Q. My background (undergraduate and Honours) is in Psychology with my PhD in Social Psychology/Traffic Psychology.

2. What is your research focused on, and what do you see as the issues currently facing injury prevention?

In my research, I develop and evaluate injury prevention messaging for public education campaigns. Much of my work has been in the area of road safety advertising; however, I have been involved in the development of campaigns addressing injury prevention issues more broadly (e.g., baby slings). The changing communication landscape (towards more online and digital communications) has meant that, potentially more so than ever, there is a crucial need to ensure not only that ‘we get the message content right’ but that we also ‘get the communication channel/medium right”.

3. How does your research Take Action?

I think that my area of research is very much about ‘taking action’. Public education and communication campaigns focused on achieving social and behaviour change play an important role in helping to improve the quality and longevity of individuals’ lives.

4. What can emerging researchers learn from you?

As a researcher, I am a strong advocate for the value of theory in informing what we do and thus evidence-based practice. When our research is guided by theory, we gain greater insights into why a particular message approach did or did not work as intended.

5. Have you ever been to Ballarat/Australia and have a great story to tell? Or, what are you looking forward to most about your upcoming trip to Ballarat/Australia?

I have only visited Ballarat once in my life so I am keen to return – am very much looking forward to attending the AIPN conference in Ballarat!

 

 

征稿启事:中国的伤害控制与研究

27 Apr, 17 | by flee

征稿启事:中国的伤害控制与研究

特邀编辑:
Rebecca Ivers教授,乔治全球健康研究所,澳大利亚 – rivers@georgeinstitute.org.au
胡国清教授,中南大学,中国 – huguoqing009@gmail.com
Henry Xiang教授,美国俄亥俄州立大学医学院,美国 – Xiang.30@osu.edu

随着经济的迅速发展,在过去的三十年间,中国在医疗体系的建设和疾病控制上取得了巨大的进步。但是,与传染病和其他非传染性疾病的防控相比,中国对伤害控制与研究的关注和投入过少。在所有死亡中,伤害死亡占比接近10%,且伤害导致了30%的生命损失年。中国在伤害预防控制的投入和研究上仍有重要需求。为了与国际社会分享中国在伤害控制与研究方面的成就和挑战,我们诚挚邀请国内外伤害研究者向Injury Prevention(《伤害预防》)的特刊投稿。

特刊接收关于中国伤害预防控制的原创研究、综述和评论。虽然我们欢迎伤害流行病学和伤害监控方面的文章,但我们会优先考虑关于干预或政策的开发与评估的投稿。投稿须符合期刊的科学、伦理和编辑标准。

投稿流程:欲投稿的作者应将自己稿件的摘要或简短的总结通过邮件发送给一位特邀编辑。特邀编辑查看之后,会请被选中的作者提交完整稿件。最终提交的稿件会按照期刊惯例进入正式的独立同行评审流程。

 

截止日期:

  •  文章提案截止时间:2017年7月15日
  • 对文章提案的答复:2017年8月1日
  • 完整稿件提交:2017年11月30日

本刊的作者指南可点击www.ip.bmj.com/ifora在线获取。

Call for papers: Injury control and research in China

27 Apr, 17 | by flee

Call for papers: Injury control and research in China

Guest Editors:
Professor Rebecca Ivers, The George Institute for Global Health, Australia – rivers@georgeinstitute.org.au
Professor Guoqing Hu, Central South University, China – huguoqing009@gmail.com
Professor Henry Xiang, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, USA – Xiang.30@osu.edu

Following rapid economic development, China has made significant progress in both development of health systems and disease control over the last three decades. Nonetheless, injury control and research have received less attention and investment in China compared to the prevention and control of infectious diseases and other non-communicable diseases. Injury deaths account for nearly 10% of all deaths and injury is responsible for 30% of years of life lost. There remains an important need for investment and research in injury prevention and control in China. In order to share China’s achievements and challenges in injury control and research with international communities, we invite domestic and international injury researchers to submit papers to a special themed issue of Injury Prevention.

We will consider original research, reviews and commentaries focusing on injury prevention and control in China. While we welcome papers on injury epidemiology and surveillance, priority will be given to manuscripts describing the development and evaluation of interventions or policies. All papers must meet the scientific, ethical and editorial standards of the journal.

Submission process: Potential authors should submit by email to one of the guest editors an abstract or short summary of their proposed manuscript. The guest editors will review the proposals and invite selected authors to submit a full manuscript. The submitted final manuscripts will be subject to formal independent peer review in accordance with the Journal’s usual practice.

Deadlines:

  • Proposals due: 15th July 2017
  • Response to proposals: 1st August 2017
  • Full manuscripts due: 30th November 2017

Author guidelines are available online at www.ip.bmj.com/ifora.

Kathrin Steffen | People in Injury Prevention

24 Apr, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

[Sheree Bekker] In the lead up to the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, I invited keynote speaker Kathrin Steffen to answer a few questions for our blog.

Kathrin Steffen is a senior researcher from the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center. Kathrin also serves as a research assistant at the Department of Medical & Scientific Activities in the International Olympic Committee (IOC). She is the assistant editor for the 4 annual issues of the IOC supported journal British Journal of Sports Medicine Injury Prevention & Health Protection, in addition to being involved in other IOC driven research projects.

1. Tell us about your training and role in injury prevention
After finishing my Masters studies in Germany (German Sports University in Cologne), in the field of prevention and management of noncommunicable diseases, I moved on to Norway and the Norwegian School of Sport Sciences and the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center, where I earned a PhD in sports injury epidemiology. Another positive addition to my development was a 1-yr post-doc exchange with the group of Prof Carolyn Emery at the Sports Injury Prevention Research Centre in Calgary. The value of an intercultural exchange cannot be stressed enough.

2. What is your research focused on, and what do you see as the issues currently facing injury prevention?
Besides my research interests in injury epidemiology and prevention in the broader sports community, I am the project leader for national and international multimedia projects to disseminate knowledge in sports medicine. At present, I am working full time with the content management for a multi-lingual “SKADEFRI/GET SET – webpage/mobile application” on injuries and injury prevention in Olympic sports.
One of the biggest challenges in our field of injury prevention seems to be is to convince people that “the pill” is good for them. As one example, we have evidence enough that structured conditioning training/neuromuscular training, focussing on sport specific injury types, will reduce the risk of injury providing training is done regularly. However, we still see a high number of injuries in the field. Having developed digital tools in corporation with coaches, athletes, and sports federations to facilitate usage of prevention exercises, we still don’t see the desired adoption of these tools. The knowledge doesn’t seem to be translated well enough, and mechanisms on how best to translate are not optimally understood.

3. How does your research Take Action?
The Oslo Sports Trauma Research Center has a special focus on the young athlete, though many of the research projects are done in elite sports. Much of the knowledge gained from elite athletes can easily be transferred to, and shared with, recreational sports. Also, we have a close contact to the National Sports Federations, and we collaborate on developing injury prevention materials to be mandatory in the coach education system. The development of multimedia tools (web and apps) helps to facilitate the usage of existing knowledge in the field. However, the validation of these tools still remains a challenge in Norway.

4. What can emerging researchers learn from you?
Don´t be afraid of leaving your group and go abroad to further develop personal and research skills.

5. What are you looking forward to when coming to Ballarat?
The ACRISP-group with their head, Prof Caroline Finch, are world leading in the field of implementation research. I’m looking forward to the exchange experiences and learning from each other, through expected cultural differences and similarities.

 

The call for abstracts for the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference is open until the end of April 2017. 

Andrea Gielen | People in injury prevention

21 Mar, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

[Sheree Bekker] In the lead up to the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, I invited keynote speaker Andrea Gielen to answer a few questions for our blog.

Andrea C. Gielen, ScD, ScM is Professor and Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This Center is home to a large and multidisciplinary faculty that conducts research, trains students, and supports research translation and practice partnerships. Dr. Gielen is a behavioral scientist with decades of experience as a public health department practitioner and as an academic researcher whose focus is on behavioral intervention trials. Currently, her work focuses on community and clinic-based programs to reduce home injuries, pedestrian injuries, motor vehicle occupant injuries, prescription drug overdose, and domestic violence. Dr. Gielen received her ScM in 1979 and her ScD in 1989 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has received career awards from the American Public Health Association; the Centers for Disease Control; American Academy of Health Behavior; and the Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award.

  1. Tell us about your training and role in injury prevention

Most of my training is in behavioral sciences, health education, and injury prevention. I describe my role in injury prevention as a behavior change interventionist. Our team takes a comprehensive health promotion approach to behavior change, which means using innovative communication strategies, as well as incorporating policy and engineering solutions that make the safer behavior the easier (and when possible the default) behavior.

  1. What is your research focused on, and what do you see as the issues currently facing injury prevention?

My current research focuses on finding creative and evidence-based ways to reduce unintentional childhood injury, domestic violence, sexual assault on college campuses, and opioid overdose. The complexity of some of these problems is a challenge to injury prevention because there are so many different disciplines involved in the solutions. For instance, addressing the opioid epidemic requires perspectives from professionals in criminal justice, health policy, drug safety, etc.  On the other hand, the simplicity of some of the solutions is a challenge due to lack of societal and political will to implement them. For example, why are there still unsafe playgrounds in low income neighborhoods when we know how to make them safer? Why are there stark disparities in motor vehicle death rates across population groups when we know how to design safer roadways and enforce driving laws?

  1. How does your research Take Action?

At the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, one of our goals is to “close the gap between research and practice” to reduce injury. Our outreach core focuses on creating and disseminating evidence about what works to prevent and reduce injury in myriad ways. We host a “translation symposium” that brings together researchers and practitioners; we published a guide for state policy makers that has been replicated in more than a dozen states; we support a children’s safety resource center program that provides free safety education and low cost safety products to families; and we convene stakeholders to produce and disseminate “state of the evidence” documents on various injury problems.

  1. What can emerging researchers learn from you? 

A dialogue between established researchers and students and junior researchers is essential to advancing the field. I find that extremely helpful in at least a couple of important ways. First, we “old-timers” can help make sure that our limited resources aren’t being used to “re-invent the wheel” — our historical perspective can help shape new solutions to both old and new problems. Second, younger folks can provide extraordinarily innovative ideas, drawing from the expertise with new technologies and their ability to have their “fingers on the pulse” of the new generations we seek to serve.

  1. Have you ever been to Australia and have a great story to tell? Or, what are you looking forward to most about your upcoming trip to Australia?

I have been to Australia several times and thoroughly enjoyed each trip. But, I have to say,  the most influential trip was the first one back in the 1990’s when I had a chance to visit the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and discovered their children’s safety resource center. This was a model that I was able to take back to the United States, and I’m proud to say we have implemented at Johns Hopkins Hospital. We also partnered with our local fire department to create a 40 foot truck version of your model! My husband and I also LOVED moreton bay bugs!!

 

The call for abstracts for the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference is now open. 

Steve Marshall | People in injury prevention

9 Mar, 17 | by Sheree Bekker

[Sheree Bekker] In the lead up to the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference, I have invited keynote speaker Steve Marshall to answer a few questions for our blog.

Steve Marshall, PhD, is an injury epidemiologist.  He is the Director of the University of North Carolina (UNC) Injury Prevention Research Center. He is also a professor of epidemiology in UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health and faculty in UNC’s Matthew Gfeller Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Center.  Dr. Marshall has 25 years of experience and over 250 research publications in the fields of epidemiology and injury control.  He serves on the Executive Committee of the SafeStates Alliance, the Board of Advisors for the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention, and on the National Steering Committee for the American Medical Society of Sports Medicine’s Collaborative Research Network. 

  1. Tell us about your training and role in injury prevention

Professional development is an on-going activity across one’s entire professional career. I first started learning about injury prevention in the early 1990s from a British biostatistician named Colin Cryer, who was a wonderful mentor. Around this time, I also learned a lot from working alongside John Langley, as part of his team at Injury Prevention Research Unit, University of Otago.  This was in Wellington and in Dunedin, New Zealand.

By the end of the 1990s I had earned a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina (UNC) in the USA. Although my university education was complete, I still had a lot to learn about injury prevention from people outside the university, such as people who develop and deliver injury prevention programs, advocates in the community, injury survivors and their families, and lawyers and politicians.

As Director of the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, my current role is to help create cutting-edge research, and ensure it is translated into concrete public health gains such as legislation and injury prevention programs.

  1. What do you see as the issues currently facing injury prevention?

The pressing challenge before injury prevention is simple: how can we achieve a real and sustained shift in society’s attitudes to injury and violence prevention as a whole. We need to achieve a lasting change in the structure of social systems that impact safety.  We need a sustained effort to understand the social structures that impact safety attitudes and safety decision-making, and a long-term strategy to change them. This action is, I believe, is part of the Take Action call for “systems for safer cities and stronger communities”.  Simply put, we need strategies that institutionalize safety as a core value in multiple ways within and between the plethora of social units (e.g. governments, hospitals, neighborhoods, families).

  1. What is your research focus, and how does your research Take Action?

In collaboration with our practice-focused partners, my center uses empowerment strategies to build community capacity in wide range of other areas, including road safety and  violence.  In collaboration with the North Carolina state health department, we provide injury prevention knowledge and skills to community-based organizations through the Injury Free NC Academy.

A lot of my career has focused on sports injury epidemiology.  When we started studying sports-related concussions in the early 2000s, the topic was largely invisible to the general sports community. Due to the efforts of many researchers, including our team, concussion is hot-button topic for the contact sports community. Strengthening the capacity of the sports community to address concussion is key to sustaining momentum and continuing to change the culture of sports to prevent concussion.

Professor Carolyn Emery from University of Calgary’s Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre reminds us that we are all participants in #concussion management #UNCTBI2017 pic.twitter.com/Acw9emDWPd Professor Carolyn Emery was speaking at the 4th Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Neurotrauma Symposium on the UNC campus.

  1. What can emerging researchers learn from you?

Switch to building probes for exploring other solar systems.  It’s less frustrating and people at parties will think you are way cool.

  1. What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming trip to Australia?

I’m looking forwards to spending some time with the ACRISP (Australian Collaboration for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention) team at Federation University Australia. They are world leaders in focused strategies for sports injury prevention.

 

The call for abstracts for the 13th Australasian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference is now open. 

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Latest from Injury Prevention