Developing Interventions When There Is Little Science
Injury control practice would be easy if only there were packaged programs that were sure to work in any setting and that all one had to do was open them up, implement them and—Voilá—watch the rates of injury decline. It would be like having a simple cake mix that works anywhere with only the addition of water. But this is not the case. Few highly successful packaged programs exist. And even when evidence of success exists, it can be hard to know which program components were the active “ingredients” responsible for the outcomes. There is often no clear recipe for exactly replicating the intervention. Plus, no two settings are completely alike, requiring careful adaptation to the particular environmental and cultural characteristics of different populations. Program development is not as straightforward as taking a new medical procedure from one hospital to the next. Injury and the prevention of injury, as with other complex public health problems, result from the interplay of complicated social dynamics that must be accommodated.
This chapter is designed to help practitioners develop strategies for intervention development that uses available and appropriate evidence when it does exist and facilitates progress even when scientifi c evidence has not been well developed. It addresses what planners need to consider in assessing an injury problem and structuring an intervention by applying a systematic approach to planning that relies on critical thinking skills. In addition, this chapter includes questions for practitioners to consider and suggests important areas for professional development.
KeywordsInjury Prevention Injury Risk Participatory Action Research Safety Climate Critical Thinking Skill
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