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Prev Med Rep. 2018 Dec 18;13:146-152. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.12.008. eCollection 2019 Mar.

Changes in parents' perceived injury risk after a medically-attended injury to their child.

Ishikawa T1,2,3, Mâsse LC4,2, Brussoni M1,4,2,3.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia: Rm 2D19, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada.
British Columbia Children's Hospital Research Institute, F503, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada.
BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, F508, 4480 Oak Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada.
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 E Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada.


Unintentional injuries are a major cause of hospitalization and death for children worldwide. Since children who sustain a medically-attended injury are at higher risk of recurrence, it is crucial to generate knowledge that informs interventions to prevent re-incidence. This study examines when, in the year following a medically-attended injury, parents perceive the greatest risk of injury recurrence. Since perception of injury risk is associated with parental preventive behavior, this can inform decisions on the timing of parent-targeted interventions to prevent re-injury. Study participants were 186 English-fluent parents of children 0 to 16 years, presenting at the British Columbia Children's Hospital for an unintentional pediatric injury. Parents were excluded if their child had a disability or chronic health condition. Perceived risk of the same and of any injury recurring were elicited from parents, when they sought treatment at the hospital, as well as one, four, and twelve months later. The study ran between February 2011 and December 2013. Mixed-effects models were used to analyze changes in parents' responses. Analysis indicates that perceived risk of the same injury recurring did not change. However, perceived risk of any injury recurring increased from baseline to first follow-up, then decreased during the rest of the year. Overall, perceived risk of any injury was higher for parents whose child had a history of injuries. Visits to the Emergency Department for a pediatric injury may not be optimal timing to deploy injury prevention interventions for parents. Follow-up visits (when parents' perceived risk is highest) may be better.


BOI, Burden of Injury; Child injury; ED, Emergency Department; Emergency medicine; Gambler's fallacy; HRQL, Health Related Quality of Life; Injury prevention; MAI, Medically Attended Injuries; Negative recency; PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; Risk perception

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