Textbooks for Injury Prevention?

Like most disciplines, injury prevention has a small library of books devoted to the subject. I am interested in which of those books we use to teach injury epidemiology and injury prevention practice.

Of course, there are a number of titles out there that appeal to a non-technical audience. David Hemenway’s While We Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention (2009) is a great example that deserves to be read by students in every field of public health, not just injury, and indeed is a great resource to hand to friends or family members who wonder what, exactly, you do for a living. Tom Vanderbilt’s Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (2009) is a provocative look at some aspects of safety issues on the roads and Ian Roberts puts everything – injury, obesity and climatye change – into a much bigger context with The Energy Glut: Climate Change and the Politics of Fatness (2010)

But, I am wondering what textbooks you use (or have used) in your courses? Have our digitally literate students moved beyond the need for bound volumes that serve, in effect, to simply pull together “chapters” each written by a different author and each of which might stand alone as a published review paper?  Or is there something to be said for a didactic tome, written or carefully edited by a single author, organized around pedagogical principles and optimized for use as the backbone of classroom instruction?

Judging by the titles that are sent to the journal for review, I must assume that publishers still see a market for textbooks in our niche discipline. In the last year or so, we’ve seen:

  • Injury Research: Theories, Methods, and Approaches by Guohua Li and Susan P. Baker (2012)
  • Injury Prevention for Children and Adolescents: Research, Practice, and Advocacy, 2nd Edition by Karen DeSafey Liller (2012)
  • Injury Prevention in Children: A Primer for Students and Practitioners by David Stone (2011)
  • Sports Injury Research by Evert Verhagen and Willem van Mechelen (2010)

Add to these, the list of foundational texts in our field, and there are suddenly quite a number from which to choose:

  • Injury Control: A Guide to Research and Program Evaluation by Frederick P. Rivara, Peter Cummings, Thomas D. Koepsell and David C. Grossman
  • Injury Prevention: An International Perspective: Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Policy by Peter Barss, Gordon S. Smith, Susan P. Baker and Dinesh Mohan
  • Injury Injury Prevention And Public Health: Practical Knowledge, Skills, And Strategies by Tom Christoffel and Susan Gallagher
  • Injury and Violence Prevention: Behavioral Science Theories, Methods, and Applications by Andrea Carlson Gielen, David A. Sleet and Ralph J. DiClemente
  • Injury Epidemiology: Research and Control Strategies by Leon S. Robertson
  • Traffic Safety by Leonard Evans

So, what do you think? If there is still a place for the textbook in injury education, which one do you use? What others did you consider? What makes the text successful and what would you change if you could?

Additions to the list above and comments are, of course, encouraged.

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