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Social deprivation and the prevention of unintentional injury in childhood: A systematic review

Dowswell, Therese; Towner, Elizabeth


Therese Dowswell

Elizabeth Towner


There is a known association between social deprivation and risk of death from unintentional injury in childhood. In the UK context, these inequalities do not appear to be decreasing. This paper reports on the findings of a systematic review of the world literature between 1975 and 2000 on the prevention of childhood injuries, with particular reference to social deprivation. Literature was identified via electronic data-bases, key journals and informants. All papers were read independently by at least two reviewers and information was extracted using a standardized form. Results indicate that of 155 studies identified in the systematic review, 32 addressed the issue of social deprivation. The way social deprivation was defined in different studies varied considerably. The literature was not evenly spread across different injury types and did not reflect the burden of injury. There is a paucity of evidence relating to the prevention of child pedestrian injury. Very few studies examined the impact of interventions in different social groups. Without such evidence, it remains difficult for those involved in health promotion to know how to design and target interventions to address inequalities in child injury rates.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Apr 1, 2002
Journal Health Education Research
Print ISSN 0268-1153
Publisher Oxford University Press (OUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 2
Pages 221-237
Keywords social deprivation, unintentional injury, childhood, systematic review
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Towner's reputation built on the systematic reviews, has led to her invitation to be an international Mentor on the WHO Mentor - VIP (Violence and Injury Prevention Programme). 15 mentors have been approached worldwide for the first year of the scheme in 2007.

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