Journal of Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 811–829 | Cite as

State of the science: a scoping review of primary prevention of firearm injuries among children and adolescents

  • Quyen M. NgoEmail author
  • Eric Sigel
  • Allante Moon
  • Sara F. Stein
  • Lynn S. Massey
  • Frederick Rivara
  • Cheryl King
  • Mark Ilgen
  • Rebecca Cunningham
  • Maureen A. Walton
  • For the FACTS Consortium


Intentional and unintentional firearm injury is the second leading cause of death for youth, underscoring the need for effective primary prevention approaches that focus on increasing safe storage by caregivers and decreasing handling/carriage among youth. This article describes the state of the science for prevention of firearm injuries among children and adolescents. We applied PRISMA guidelines to present results from a scoping review using PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and CJ Abstracts for original research articles published between January 1, 1985 and March 1, 2018 in the U.S. focusing on primary screening or interventions for primary prevention of pediatric firearm injuries. In total, 46 articles met inclusion criteria: safe storage (23), screening (2), firearm handling/carriage/use (21). Across school, healthcare, and community settings, few evidenced-based programs exist, and data on firearm safety technologies are lacking. Programs have generally not employed rigorous designs, and/or assessed behavioral (e.g., carriage) or injury-related firearm outcomes. Evidenced-based prevention programs are needed to mitigate firearm morbidity and mortality among youth.


Universal prevention Primary prevention Firearm injury Safe storage Firearm carriage Children Adolescents 



We would like to thank Gurpreet Kaur Rana, Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, for creating the search strategies. We would also like to thank Jhuree Hong and Jaemin Park, and Stephanie Kostolansky for assisting with title abstract screening, organizing and summarizing articles for review.


This review was funded by NIH/NICHD 1R24HD087149-01A1. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the funding agencies. Supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health K23 AA022641.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Quyen M. Ngo, Eric Sigel, Allante Moon, Sara F. Stein, Lynn S. Massey, Frederick Rivara, Cheryl King, Mark Ilgen, Rebecca Cunningham, and Maureen A. Walton declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Quyen M. Ngo
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Eric Sigel
    • 3
  • Allante Moon
    • 4
  • Sara F. Stein
    • 5
    • 6
  • Lynn S. Massey
    • 1
  • Frederick Rivara
    • 7
  • Cheryl King
    • 8
  • Mark Ilgen
    • 9
  • Rebecca Cunningham
    • 4
  • Maureen A. Walton
    • 8
  • For the FACTS Consortium
  1. 1.Department of Emergency MedicineUniversity of Michigan School of MedicineAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Institute for Research on Women and GenderUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  3. 3.Section of Adolescent Medicine Department of PediatricsUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  4. 4.School of Public HealthUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  5. 5.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Michigan School of MedicineAnn ArborUSA
  6. 6.School of Social WorkUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  7. 7.Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  8. 8.Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Michigan School of MedicineAnn ArborUSA
  9. 9.VA Center Clinical Management Research (CCMR)VA Ann Arbor Healthcare SystemAnn ArborUSA

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