Pediatric injury prevention programs: Identifying markers for success and sustainability

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Abstract

BACKGROUND

Injury is the leading cause of death in children. Although many pediatric hospitals and trauma centers provide injury prevention (IP) programming, there is no national standard. This study aims to identify characteristics of a sustainable and successful IP program by querying programs affiliated with the Injury Free Coalition for Kids (IFCK).

METHODS

The IFCK sites were sent a 30-question survey via e-mail. Questions focused on demographics, scope of IP activities, self-efficacy, and outcome measures including finances, academic productivity, and legislative advocacy. Counts and frequencies were calculated and compared using χ2 tests.

RESULTS

The survey was completed by 38 (90.4%) of 42 sites. The majority were associated with a freestanding children’s hospital (57.9%) and Level I pediatric trauma center (86.8%). Most programs (79%) had at least one dedicated full-time equivalent (FTE) staff. Research was most common on child passenger safety and teen driving. Nearly 30% of programs offered educational curricula to health care providers; these sites were more likely to have FTE support (p = 0.036). Steady sources of funding were identified for 60.5% of programs, with 47.8% citing their hospital as the primary source; 73% of respondents were confident in their program’s capacity to sustain activities; these were more likely to be larger programs (p = 0.001) with steady sources of funding (p < 0.001). Despite 73.7% of sites having academic affiliations, 60.5% had 5 or fewer publications over the previous 5 years. In the prior 2 years, 55.3% of programs impacted legislative or policy changes. Funding, size of program, and FTE had no statistical correlation with research productivity or number of legislative/policy contributions.

CONCLUSIONS

This study characterizes the variation among pediatric IP programs within IFCK sites, while highlighting the association between financial and FTE support from programs’ institutions with sustainable IP programming. These results can assist programs in identifying differences in relation to their peers.

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