Author(s): Stewart TC, Harrington J, Batey B, Merritt NH, Parry NG
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: The Impact program is an adolescent, injury prevention program with both school- and hospital-based components aimed at decreasing high-risk behaviors and preventing injury. The objective of this study was to obtain student input on the school-based component of Impact, as part of the program evaluation and redesign process, to ensure that the program content and format were optimal and relevant, addressing injury-related issues important for youth in our region. METHODS: Secondary schools were selected in various geographic regions with students varying in language, religion, and socioeconomic status. A mixed-methods questionnaire was developed and pretested on program content, format, relevance, quality, and effectiveness. Attitude and opinion questions on issues facing teens today were ranked on a 7-point Likert scale. Open-ended, qualitative questions were included in the focus groups, with responses themed. RESULTS: There were 167 respondents in the nine geographically, socioeconomically, and culturally diverse focus groups with a mean age of 16 years, 52\% were male, and 69\% were in Grade 11. Ninety-three percent of respondents rated the content of Impact as comprehensive (median, 6 of 7, with 7 being very comprehensive), and 29\% rated the format a 5 of 7. Impact was rated relevant (89\%), addressing issues for teens (median, 6 of 7). Issues suggested to highlight included texting and driving, drugs, partying, self-harm, and abusive relationships. Texting while driving was perceived as a significantly more common (81\%) injury issue for adolescents compared with other driving risk factors (p < 0.001), with one student commenting, "If you don't (text and drive), you either don't have a phone or don't have a driver's license." CONCLUSION: Injury prevention programs must be continually evaluated to ensure they are relevant, addressing issues important for youth, and presented in a format that resonates with the audience. Student focus groups identified motor vehicle collisions and texting as important issues as well as a desire for teens to hear personal stories with a visual element. This provided the information needed to develop the next logical direction for our program, the production of a distracted driving video ("Distracted Driving: Josh's Story," http://youtu.be/BFPke9gBybc) to be incorporated into school presentations. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Epidemiologic/prognostic study, level III.
This article was published in J Trauma Acute Care Surg
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior