OBJECTIVES: To review existing literature on the effectiveness of community-based and school-based physical activity related injury prevention programmes implemented to increase safety behaviour and decrease injury risk in 8-12 year old children, considering the methodological quality of the studies.
DESIGN: A systematic review with quality assessment.
METHODS: A systematic search was performed using the CINAHL, Cochrane, EMBASE, PubMed and Sportdiscus databases. Inclusion criteria included the following: children aged 8-12 years; school- or community-based injury prevention programmes; an outcome defined as number of injuries, injury incidence or safety behaviour; published in an English language journal. Methodological quality was assessed for all included studies.
RESULTS: The search yielded 5377 records, of which 11 were included in the review; four studies were considered as being of high quality. The focus of studies that were included was on the use of safety devices (8), pedestrian safety (2) and physical activity-related injury prevention (1). For safety device use, short term effects of school- and community-based interventions are promising for 8-12 year olds. Results regarding sustainability of the effect are inconsistent. A mediating effect on the distribution of safety devices was observed. Both financial and non-financial barriers seemed to prevent participants from purchasing a safety device.
CONCLUSIONS: The short term effects for school- and community-based interventions using safety devices for 8-12 year olds are promising. More high quality research is, however warranted, preferably shifting focus from safety behaviour change to actual physical activity injury reduction.