Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Inj Prev. 1999 Dec;5(4):305-9.

Using a diary to record near misses and minor injuries--which method of administration is best?

Author information

School of Community Health Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham: Division of Public Health Medicine and Epidemiology.



To determine the effect of different methods of administering a diary to collect information from parents on near miss and minor injuries on responses, completeness and accuracy, the number of incidents reported, the effect of a financial incentive on response, and the cost of administering each method.


The study was set within the context of a cluster randomised controlled trial of injury prevention in 36 practices in Nottingham.


The study population comprised the 1594 parents who responded to the baseline questionnaire. Parents were allocated systematically to one of four groups: postal administration, with and without financial incentive, telephone administration, with and without financial incentive (102 in each group). A clinic visit method with and without financial incentive (50 in each group) was also used.


A significant trend was found, with decreasing response rates with increasing degree of contact with the parent, such that administering the diary in the clinic had the lowest response (chi2 for trend = 5.54, 1 df, p = 0.02). Offering a financial incentive increased responses from 47% to 59% (chi2 = 5.78, 1 df, p = 0.016). The most complete recording was found in the diaries handed out at clinic visits. Importantly, parents were accurate in their recording of near miss and minor injuries, suggesting they understood the differences between the two types of incident. Postal methods were the least expensive method of administering the diary in terms of average cost per returned diary. Using a financial incentive resulted in a lower cost per returned diary for telephone and clinic visit methods.


Parents can accurately and reliably complete diaries recording near miss and minor injuries occurring to their preschool children. More work is needed to investigate methods of increasing response. Postal diaries achieve the highest response but have the least complete recording of data. Diaries administered through child health clinics were most complete but achieved the lowest response. The administration method chosen in future work should be influenced both by the response and completeness of recording that is required by the research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center