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Developing targets and strategies for school-based injury prevention programs to reduce alcohol associated transport risks

  • Reveruzzi, Bianca
  • Buckley, Lisa
  • Chapman, Rebekah L.
  • Dingli, Kelly
  • Sheehan, Mary C.
  • Siskind, Victor
Publication Date
Aug 27, 2013
Queensland University of Technology ePrints Archive
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Background There is considerable and ongoing debate about the role and effectiveness of school-based injury prevention programs in reducing students’ later involvement in alcohol associated transport injuries. Most relevant literature is concerned with pre-driving and licensing programs for middle age range adolescents (15-17 years). This research team is concerned with prevention at an earlier stage by targeting interventions to young adolescents (13-14 years). There is strong evidence that young adolescents who engage in unsafe and illegal alcohol associated transport risks are significantly likely to incur serious related injuries in longitudinal follow up. For example, a state-wide representative sample of male adolescents (mean age 14.5 years) who reported being passengers of drink drivers were significantly more likely to have incurred a hospitalised injury related to traffic events at a 20 year follow up. Aim This paper reports on first aid training integrated with peer protection and school connectedness within the Skills for Preventing Injury in Youth (SPIY) program. A component of the intervention is concerned with providing strategies to reduce the likelihood of being a passenger of a drink driver and effectiveness is followed up at six months post-intervention. Method In early 2012 the study was undertaken in 35 high schools throughout Queensland that were randomly assigned to intervention and control conditions. A total of 2,521 Year 9 students (mean age 13.5years, 43% male) completed surveys prior to the intervention. Results Of these students 316 (13.7%) reported having ridden in a car with someone who has been drinking. This is a traffic safety behaviour that is particularly relevant to a peer protection intervention and the findings of the six month follow up will be reported. Discussion and conclusions This research will provide evidence as to whether this approach to the introduction of first aid skills within a school-based health education curriculum has traffic safety implications.

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