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Scand J Public Health. 2005;33(1):42-9.

A maternity hospital-based infant car-restraint loan scheme: public health and economic evaluation of an intervention for the reduction of road traffic injuries.

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  • 1Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Athens University Medical School, Athens 115027, Greece.



The results of an infant car-restraint loan scheme and evaluate its cost-effectiveness are presented.


The intervention programme was initiated in 1996. Car-restraints, donated by manufacturers, were lent for a six-month period to eligible prospective parents for a modest fee. Specially trained health visitors performed in-person interviews with the participating parents. The data were collected and recorded on a pre-coded questionnaire. Cross-tabulations and multiple logistic regression were performed to analyse the data. Subsequent purchase of a next-stage car restraint, suitable for older children (up to four years of age) was considered as a proxy measure of the success of the programme. This information, along with the detailed operational and financial data collected during the implementation phase of the programme, was used to develop a model to assess the cost-effectiveness of a countrywide intervention.


During a two-year period 188 families participated in a survey. On return of the infant car restraint, 92% of the participants reported proper use of the device and 82% had already purchased the second-stage car restraint. Parental age, gender, or educational status was not predictive of positive parental road safety practices for the newly born, whereas history of parental seat-belt use--as a proxy of personal road safety behaviour--was positively correlated with the likelihood of purchasing a second-stage car-restraint device. The cost-effectiveness ratio varies between 418.00 euro and 3,225.00 euro per life-year saved, depending on whether the modest administrative fee is considered.


On the basis of plausible assumptions, a loan programme of infant car-restraints was shown to be particularly cost effective.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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