Preventing Violence: A Public Health Participatory Approach to Homicide Reviews

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Death review teams are a common method for assessing preventable deaths, yet they rarely review adult homicides and do not typically include community members. Academic–community partnerships can enhance public health research by encouraging translation of research into practice and support a data-driven approach to improve community health and well-being. We describe the Pittsburgh Homicide Review Group, a community-partnered initiative to prevent future homicides through data review and community dialogue. Group members reviewed all 42 Pittsburgh 2012 homicides informed by three primary data sources: publicly available data, local service databases, and community outreach resources. Thirty-two individuals representing relevant county agencies and community groups participated in eight reviews. Data sharing among partners resulted in a comprehensive understanding of the context of homicides. Review meetings supported a collective discussion around potential contributing factors to homicides, intervention implications, and recommendations. Academic–community homicide review partnerships are a productive approach to inform homicide prevention and interventions that are relevant to communities and should be implemented widely.

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