The WHO injury surveillance guidelines: a systematic review of the non-fatal guidelines' utilization, efficacy and effectiveness

Chebiwot Kipsaina, Eleanor Joan Ozanne-Smith AO, Virginia Hazel Routley

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12 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To systematically assess the utilization, efficacy and effectiveness of the WHO Injury Surveillance Guidelines. Study design: A systematic review of the literature. Methods: A comprehensive systematic search of peer reviewed and grey literature was conducted for relevant studies published between Jan 2002 and May 2013 reporting utilization of the Injury Surveillance Guidelines. Injury experts and government departments from low- and middle-income countries were contacted. Results: Forty-nine studies met the inclusion criteria. These were conducted in health facilities in five WHO regions, African Region (28 ): Eastern Mediterranean and Western Pacific Regions, both 22 . The Guidelines were mostly used selectively: the minimum data set as a survey tool; process and system environment evaluation; categorizing injuries for data analysis; measuring injury severity and for data quality assessment or comparisons. Twenty-six studies used the Guidelines to collect overview injury data prospectively and/or retrospectively, or for Injury Surveillance System (ISS) feasibility studies, with four actually establishing an ISS or informing the establishment process. Few reported effects on injury policies and programs. Most studies used only the minimum dataset, limiting the level of detail for injury prevention. Other ISSs may have been established using the Guidelines, though no English language publications referencing this were found. Conclusions: This review provides encouraging results that the Guidelines continue to be used, albeit mainly for short-term studies predominantly in low- and middle-income countries with very limited sustained ISS establishment and local injury prevention capacity building. It highlights the need to improve and expand the minimum dataset to at least include a meaningful narrative text and potentially to expand the mechanism codes to a second level of detail, as well as building local injury prevention capacity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1406 - 1428
Number of pages23
JournalPublic Health
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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