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In Search of Concrete Outcomes—A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Educational Interventions on Reducing Acute Occupational Injuries

by Jim Li 1,2,*, Max Pang 1, Jennifer Smith 2, Colleen Pawliuk 3 and Ian Pike 2,3,4
1
MD Undergraduate Program, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
2
BC Injury Research and Prevention Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
3
BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, BC Children’s Hospital, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
4
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6H 3V4, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6874; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186874
Received: 11 August 2020 / Revised: 15 September 2020 / Accepted: 18 September 2020 / Published: 20 September 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Non-Technical Perspectives for Improving Safety in the Workplace)
Education is a common strategy used to prevent occupational injuries. However, its effectiveness is often measured using surrogate measures instead of true injury outcomes. To evaluate the effectiveness of workplace educational interventions, we selectively analyzed studies that reported injury outcomes (PROSPERO ID: CRD42019140631). We searched databases for peer-reviewed journal articles and sources of grey literature such as abstracts, registered trials, and theses published between 2000 and 2019. Studies on educational interventions that reported fatal or non-fatal occupational injury outcomes were selected. Two reviewers independently and in duplicate screened the studies, extracted data, and assessed risk of bias. Heterogeneity in the data precluded meta-analysis, and the results were reviewed narratively. In total, 35 studies were included. Of which, 17 found a significant reduction in injuries, most of which featured a multifaceted approach or non-didactic education. The remaining studies either described equivocal results or did not report statistical significance. Overall, interventions in the manufacturing industry were more effective than those in the construction sector. Risk of bias among included studies was moderate to high. In conclusion, educational interventions could be an effective part of multifaceted injury prevention programs. However, over-reliance on didactic education alone is not advised. View Full-Text
Keywords: accident prevention; educational intervention; injury prevention; occupational injuries; preventive medicine; public health; safety management; safety training; systematic review accident prevention; educational intervention; injury prevention; occupational injuries; preventive medicine; public health; safety management; safety training; systematic review
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Li, J.; Pang, M.; Smith, J.; Pawliuk, C.; Pike, I. In Search of Concrete Outcomes—A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Educational Interventions on Reducing Acute Occupational Injuries. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 6874.

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