The objective is to describe existing studies of effects of local safety policy (LSP), aimed at reducing risks, preventing injuries and improving the safety in a community, in an overview. LSP refers to all kinds of safety interventions including one- and multi-component interventions.
Methods: We screened six databases for publications published 2000-2011 and selected publications through title/abstract and full-text exam. The search terms corresponded to the concept LSP. Studies of health care, crime, fire prevention, industry, terrorism, and traffic with motorized vehicles were excluded. The main findings were categorized as positive, mixed, and no intervention effects.
Results: 22 reviews and 45 primary studies were selected. The safety domains/target groups evaluated in these studies include: home (n=272), child (n=253), whole population/community (n=142), elderly (n=130), bicyclist (n=67), pedestrian (n=40), and school safety (n=15). Education was the most frequently studied intervention followed by exercise/training and safety inspection/assessment. Bicycle helmet legislation, safety education, burn prevention, traffic calming, and fall prevention exercise programs were found to be effective for some age groups of the population.
Conclusion: Positive intervention effects are contingent, dependent on many factors, and require a valid intervention theory and successful implementation. There is a need to support continuing collection of local intervention and outcome data, and to develop evaluation of local safety interventions.
Implications: A policy implication of this overview is the need for supporting improved monitoring and evaluation of LSP. Support for continuing collection of high-quality data, preferably disaggregated, on safety interventions, incidents, and injuries on the local level would allow for better conclusions on intervention effects.
Umeå: Umeå Centre for Evaluation Research, Umeå University , 2013. , 46 p.
Overview, local safety interventions, safety policy, narrative synthesis, intervention effects