Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Handbook of injury and violence prevention

Editors: Lynda S Doll, Sandra E Bonzo, James A Mercy, David A Sleet & EN Haas

Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media, New York, NY, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-387-85769-5; softcover; 598 pages; price US$ 49.95

This book is the work of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, United States of America (USA). It brings together 74 authors writing on the widest range of injury prevention topics.

The book is in five parts. Part I includes a chapter on the subject of epidemiology and the cost of injury and violence as well as an overview of interventions. Part II is about effective and promising interventions, with five chapters on unintentional injury – falls in adults, motor vehicle injury, drowning, residential fire injury, and sports and recreation injury – and six chapters on violence prevention – child maltreatment, youth violence, suicide, intimate partner violence, sexual violence and maltreatment of elderly people. The chapters have a common broad structure including epidemiology from the USA, the history of prevention, an outline of interventions including commentary on the strength of evidence, some discussion, an outline of research gaps and a conclusion. For example, the chapter on drowning has six detailed pages on interventions divided under subheadings of: products, environment, individual/social behaviour, legislation and multi-level drowning prevention campaigns. The analysis of research gaps follows this same grouping.

Part III covers cross-cutting issues, with chapters on changing the built environment to prevent injury, changing the social environment, prevention of alcohol-related injury, reducing misuse of firearms, parenting and the prevention of childhood injury, building resilience to mass trauma events, and trends and challenges in intervention research methods. Part IV is about interventions in the field and covers knowing when an intervention will work in your community, behavioural interventions, developing interventions when there is little science, developing and implementing communication messages, cultural appropriateness, evaluating effectiveness and involving the community. Part V concerns dissemination and adoption of effective interventions and policies, and it has a chapter on dissemination, implementation and the wider use of interventions and encouraging adoption of science-based interventions. There are four appendices on resources, evaluation, data and web material, and a detailed 30-page index.

The intention of the publication is to follow its title and to be a handbook, bringing together a wide range of issue-specific and action-oriented analyses to facilitate both understanding and action in injury and violence prevention. The book is clearly directed at those trying to understand or intervene in the USA – the authors are predominantly American; the epidemiology, history, information in the appendices and the references cited have a strong American focus – but it will also have wider currency. While it is not directed at an international audience, the breadth of coverage, the degree of detail and the quality of the scholarship make it useful in understanding specific injury and violence issues and in crafting and implementing interventions. For those with a long memory, this publication is similar in scope and detail to the 1989 supplement to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine,1 reflecting the two decades of research and experience that have occurred since then and, as such, is a very welcome addition to the literature. ■


Ian Scott a

a. The Alliance for Safe Children, 75 Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, Da Nang, Viet Nam.

Correspondence to Ian Scott (e-mail: ianscott@virtual.net.au).

Bulletin of the World Health Organization 2009;87:404-404. doi: 10.2471/BLT.09.064436

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