Globally, Indigenous children are found to be at a significantly higher risk of injury compared to non-Indigenous children. It has been suggested that mainstream injury prevention strategies are ineffective within Indigenous communities. The aim of this review is to identify existing interventions aimed at preventing injury in Indigenous children in the hope that it guides future strategies. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no prior systematic reviews exist looking at interventions specifically aimed at preventing injury in Indigenous child populations in the three chosen countries. Electronic databases were systematically searched for relevant childhood interventions aimed at the prevention of injuries in Indigenous populations based in Canada, Australia and New Zealand from 1996 to 2016. A manual search of the reference lists of relevant articles and a manual search of relevant websites were also completed. After 191 records were screened, six interventions were identified meeting the criteria for inclusion. Eligible papers underwent a quality appraisal using adapted assessment checklists and key information was extracted. Findings were then synthesized using a narrative approach. The interventions mainly promoted child safety through activities focusing on education and awareness. Only three of the six studies measured changes in injury hospitalization rates, all but one evaluation reporting a significant decrease. Studies which measured awareness all demonstrated positive changes. Results suggest that interventions delivered in a culturally appropriate manner acted as a main success factor. Barriers identified as hindering intervention success included lack of cohesion within the intervention due to staff turnover and lack of experienced staff with Indigenous knowledge. This review revealed a limited amount of evaluated interventions for the prevention of Indigenous childhood injuries. Conclusive evidence of the effectiveness of existing interventions is lacking due to the predominantly small-scale evaluations of pilot interventions. Future research is needed to provide more rigorous evidence of the mechanisms driving the successful implementation, delivery and uptake of such strategies tailored to Indigenous children.
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