This paper describes how the use of bicycle helmets in Sweden has changed for different categories of cyclists from 1988 to 2002, and it also estimates future trends in voluntary wearing of bicycle helmets up to the year 2010. Observational studies of the use of bicycle helmets were conducted once a year from 1988 to 2002 at 157 sites in 21 cities. The subjects observed were children cycling to school (average n = 5471/year) and in their free time (average n = 2191/year), and adults cycling to workplaces and on public bike paths (average n = 29 368/year). The general trend in helmet use from 1988 to 2002 was determined by linear regression analysis, and the results were also employed to estimate future helmet wearing for the period 2003-2010. Differences in helmet use according to gender and size of city were analysed by chi-square tests. From 1988 to 2002, all categories of cyclists showed an upward trend in helmet use (p
AIMS: Emergency care patients have an overrepresentation of risky drinkers. Despite the evidence on the effectiveness of a short feedback on screening or self-help material, most studies performed so far have required considerable time from staff and thus been difficult to implement in the real world. The present study evaluates the effect of the screening and whether simple written advice has any additional effect on risky drinking. METHODS: An alcohol screening routine was implemented among injury patients in a Swedish emergency care department. Over 12 months, two cohorts were invited to answer an alcohol screening questionnaire in the waiting room. In the first 6 months, 771 patients were screened without any written advice (cohort A) and in the following 6 months, 563 were screened and in addition received simple written advice about sensible drinking (cohort B). None of the patients received one-to-one feedback. Six months after the screening, a follow-up interview by telephone explored the changes in drinking. RESULTS: In cohort A 182 (24%) of the patients were defined as risky drinkers and in cohort B 125 (22%). Reached at follow-up after 6 months were 81 (44%) risky and 278 (47%) non-risky drinkers in cohort A, and 40 (32%) risky and 220 (50%) non-risky drinkers in cohort B. The number of patients with heavy episodic drinking decreased significantly in cohort A from 76 (94% of the risky drinkers) to 49 (59%). In cohort B a similar change was seen from 37 (92%) to 27 (68%). Only in cohort B, was a significant increase in readiness to change drinking habits seen [from 3 (8%) to 9 (23%)]. The reduction in heavy episodic drinking was comparable with previous reports from more extensive interventions. However, at the time of follow-up, drinking among non-risky drinkers at baseline had increased. When considering the greater numbers of non-risky drinkers, the total consumption in the study group increased during the study period. CONCLUSIONS: Owing to the reported difficulties of integrating more time-consuming alcohol interventions in emergency departments, it is suggested that at least screening for drinking should be implemented as routine in emergency departments. More research is needed in order to establish the optimal balance between effective alcohol intervention, and acceptable time and effort requirement from staff.
AIM: Analysis of the economic impact of injuries that occurred within a year in Motala district -- a World Health Organization Safe Community. METHOD: A survey of all types of injury that occurred in an area with the total population of over 41,000 within a 12-month period (October 1, 1983, to September 30, 1984). All injuries that required medical care were noted. Included in the costs of injuries were the marginal costs to medical care, companies, and the health insurance system. RESULTS: There were 4,926 injuries that required medical care. The costs of injuries were SEK 23.7 million (US$3.59 million) for the health care service (outpatient care, including primary health care and hospital care), SEK 79.7 million (US$12.08 million) for trade and industry, and SEK 9.1 million (US$1.38 million) for health insurance system. Home injuries accounted for the largest share of community costs (29%). Men accounted for the highest share of both the cost to the community (59%) and health insurance expenditures (70%) for injuries. In case of home injuries, the cost of medical care dominated among women (46%), whereas company costs dominated among men (77%). Serious injuries (Abbreviated Injury Scale - AIS-3) accounted for 16% of the total cost to the community, but constituted only 3% of all injuries. Moderate injuries (AIS-2) accounted for 69% of the cost and made up 48% of the injuries, whereas minor injuries (AIS-1) accounted for 12% of the cost and constituted 49% of all injuries. Injuries to the extremities accounted in all for 74% of the cost to the community. CONCLUSION: The cost of injuries can be analyzed in relation to different characteristics of injuries, which can provide a comprehensive view of the injury profile and its economic impact according to the type of injury.
The first-hand needs and demands of laypersons are not always considered when safety promotion programmes are being developed. We compared focal areas for interventions identified from residents' statements of safety needs with focal areas for interventions identified by local government professionals in a Swedish urban community certified by the international Safe Community movement supported by the World Health Organization. Quantitative and qualitative data on self-expressed safety needs from 787 housing residents were transformed into an intervention design, using the quality function deployment (QFD) technique and compared with the safety intervention programme developed by professionals at the municipality administrative office. The outcome of the comparison was investigated with regard to implications for the Safe Community movement. The QFD analysis identified the initiation and maintenance of social integrative processes in housing areas as the most highly prioritized interventions among the residents, but failed to highlight the safety needs of several vulnerable groups (the elderly, infants and persons with disabilities). The intervention programme designed by the public health professionals did not address the social integrative processes, but it did highlight the vulnerable groups. This study indicates that the QFD technique is suitable for providing residential safety promotion efforts with a quality orientation from the layperson's perspective. Views of public health professionals have to be included to ascertain that the needs of socially deprived residents are adequately taken into account. QFD can augment the methodological toolbox for safety promotion programmes, including interventions in residential areas.
The objective of the current study was to evaluate outcomes of a program to prevent severe and less severe unintentional child injuries among the different social strata under WHO Safe Community program. Specifically, the aim was to study effectiveness of Safe Community program for reducing child injury.
A quasi-experimental design was used, with pre- and post-implementation registrations covering the children (0 -15 years) in the program implementation area (population 41,000) and in a neighboring control municipality (population 26,000) in Ostergotland County, Sweden.
Boys from not vocationally active households displayed the highest pre-intervention injury rate in both the control and intervention areas. Also in households in which the vocationally significant member was employed, boys showed higher injury rates than girls. Households in which the vocationally significant member was self-employed, girls exhibited higher injury rates than boys in the intervention area. After 6 years of program activity, the injury rates for boys and girls in employed category and injury rates for girls in self-employed category displayed a decreasing trend in the intervention area. However, in the control area injury rate decreased only for boys of employed families.
The study indicated that almost no changes in injury rates in the control area suggested that the reduction of child injuries in the intervention area between 1983 and 1989 was likely to be attributable to the safety promotion program. Therefore, the current study indicates that Safe Community program seems to be successful for reducing child injuries.
Cites: Public Health. 1999 Nov;113(6):291-410637521
PURPOSE: Bandy, with a century-long tradition in northern Europe, is a winter team-sport similar to ice hockey. To investigate the occurrence of injuries during competitive youth bandy games, injury incidence, injury types, and age-related risks were analyzed for one youth league season. METHODS: The National Athletic Injury/Illness Reporting System (NAIRS) definition of sports injury was used for the injury registration. All 416 games during the 1999-2000 season in the Swedish southeastern youth bandy league were included in the study. Primary data was collected by a questionnaire and completed by the team coaches after each game. At the end of the season, physician interviews with each team coach were performed to assure that no injuries had been missed as well as to ascertain whether there was any remaining disability. RESULTS: In total, 2.0 injuries (95% confidence interval 1.2-2.9 injuries) per 1000 player game hours were recorded. Sixty-eight percent of the injuries caused the injured player to be absent from bandy play for more than a week. Collision was the most common cause of injury (36%), and contusion was the most common injury type (41%). The injury incidence in the leagues for older players (Youth 14 -Youth 16) was slightly higher than in the leagues for the younger players (Youth 12 -Youth 13), while participation by under-aged players in games organized for older players led to an almost four-fold increase of injury risk. For severe injuries, the mean rehabilitation time away from bandy practice or competition was 27 d (range 8-56 d). CONCLUSION: The overall injury incidence during youth bandy games is low, but the injuries that occur cause extensive absences from the only four months long bandy season. From a public health perspective, bandy can be recommended for consideration when physical exercise is to be promoted among school-age children in countries with a winter climate.
The municipality of Motala in Sweden introduced a local bicycle helmet 'law' on May 1, 1996. This is not a legally enacted ordinance, but instead a legislated recommendation backed up by information and education. Formally, the law applies to children (aged 6-12 years), although the intention is to increase helmet use by all cyclists. The objective of the present study was to quantitatively evaluate the impact of the Motala helmet law on observed use of helmets by children and adults. Bicycle helmet use was monitored in Motala (n = 2,458/year) and in control towns (n = 17,818/year) both before and after adoption of the helmet law (1995-1998). Chi-square tests showed that helmet wearing 1995-1998 increased in Motala among all bicyclists (from 6.1% to 10.5%) and adults biking on cycle paths (from 1.8% to 7.6%). Helmet use by school children aged 6-12 increased during the first 6 months after introduction of the law (from 65.0% to 75.7%) but then progressively decreased to the pre-law level. Considering children cycling on cycle paths and for recreation in housing areas, there was a tendency towards increased helmet use during the first post-law year, but this was followed by a reduction to a lower level in 1998 than in 1995. Logistic regression analysis taking into account data from the control towns indicated that the helmet law had a positive effect on children cycling to schools during the first 6 months, and a weak delayed but more long-term positive effect on adult cyclists on cycle paths. There were no positive effects on children in housing areas and on cycle paths. The Motala helmet law probably would have had greater and more lasting effects on helmet use by bicyclists, if certain problems had been avoided during the initiation phase. Moreover, although it did have a positive influence on both school children and adults, it is not legally binding, and hence no penalties can be imposed. Presumably, compulsory legislation would have a more substantial impact on helmet wearing than a non-mandatory helmet 'law' such as that introduced in Motala.
On May 1, 1996, the Municipality of Motala in Sweden introduced a local bicycle helmet 'law.' It is, however, not an official law in a legal sense, but a municipally endorsed recommendation supported by promotional activities. This 'law' applies to children (ages 6-12), although the objective is to increase helmet use among cyclists of all ages. The study is a qualitative evaluation of the structure and process during initiation and implementation of the Motala bicycle helmet law. The aim was to describe the activities that were carried out, which actors took part and the opinions of the most closely involved actors. The results are based on analysis of written material and on interviews with eight of the actors. The mass media focused much attention on the bicycle helmet law, especially during the first six months after its introduction. The name helmet law was presumably of significance in this context. It is essential that relevant target groups provide sufficient support and that committed individuals initiate and promote the work, which, however, must not become dependent on a single individual. All issues concerning bicycle helmets should be coordinated with the law. Also, continuous engagement of the municipal government and a strategy for the control and follow-up of the law are needed. Local bicycle helmet laws of this type have a potential to produce a long-lasting effect on helmet use, provided some of the problems encountered can be avoided and some of the promotional activities are intensified.
Violence victimization represents a serious risk factor for health related symptoms, for both men and women. The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term effects of violence exposure in late adolescence and early adulthood on adult health, physical as well as mental, using a long-term prospective population-based study, with a follow up of 9, 19, and 26 years.
The primary data source is a longitudinal panel from one of the longest running social science surveys in the world, the Swedish Level-of-Living surveys (LNU). We analyzed three cohorts, individuals aged 15-19 in 1974 and 1981, and individuals aged 18-19 in 1991 which were followed up 2000. Structured interviews on childhood, family relationships, life-events, living conditions, health history and status, working conditions, behavioral, psychosocial, and demographic variables were repeatedly used in all cohorts.
Multivariate models of violence exposures in adolescence in the 1974-91 cohorts as predictors of adult health in 2000 are reported for both men and women. Women exposed to violence had raised odds ratios for ill health, measured as heavy illness burden, and poor self rated health, after controlling for possible confounders. No such associations were found for men.
This study's findings provide additional empirical support for the importance of policies and practices to identify and prevent violence exposure in adolescence and young adulthood and to supply treatments for adolescence exposed to violence and above all the young women.
An extensive research project concerning injury prevention was planned and initiated in Motala Municipality in the early 1980s. This article summarises 25 years of work for injury prevention and safety promotion in Motala. Evaluation of both process and effect were conducted based on a quasi-experimental study design, as well as cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit analyses of interventions. Initial evaluations results showed an annual incidence of injuries of 118.9/1000 citizens in 1983/1984 consisting of injuries at home (35%), sports injuries (18.9%), injuries at work (13.7%), traffic-related injuries (12.8%) and other injuries (19.5%). The annual social economic costs of injuries were estimated at 116 million Swedish crowns (SEK). By 1989, after two years of preventive work, the incidence of injuries was reduced by 13%. The greatest decrease was among the moderate severity category of injuries (41%). The social economic costs were thereby reduced by 21 million SEK per year. Since then, work with injury prevention has continued and annual evaluations have shown that the incidence of injuries, with some fluctuation, has continued to decrease up to the latest evaluation in 2008. The total decrease during the study period was 37%. This study shows that community-based injury prevention work according to the Safe Community model is a successful and cost-effective way of reducing injuries in the local community.