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

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.

Ishikawa T, Masse LC, Brussoni M. Changes in parents’ perceived injury risk after a medically-attended injury to their child. Prev Med Rep. 2019 Mar; 13: 146–152. Published online 2018 Dec 18. doi: 10.1016/j.pmedr.2018.12.008

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