Injury Prevention and Control

Photo collage from the course flyer showing first responders with stretcher at a motor vehicle crash, a firearm with bullets and a crashed bike with helmet in a crosswalk

COURSE OVERVIEW

Injury is the leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and the leading cause of years of potential life lost up to age 65, surpassing heart disease and cancer. Injury is defined as unintentional or intentional damage to the body resulting from acute or chronic exposure to thermal, mechanical, electrical, or chemical energy, or from the absence of such essentials as heat or oxygen. Injuries occur as a result of occupational exposure, road traffic, firearms, violence, war, and self-inflicted causes.

The semester will begin with an overview of the field of injury followed by a focus on several specific subject areas, examining current issues within those areas. A major course theme will be a focus on how injury patterns are influenced by societal health inequities and what injury prevention conducted in terms of community engagement and empowerment looks like. Several current trends associated with the COVID pandemic will be covered, such as increase in domestic violence, firearm deaths, and pedestrian deaths.

Course activities include discussion and critique of key readings, web-based and observational assignments, and a short paper and presentation at the end of the semester. An extra unit is available for students who wish to prepare a paper for publication (guidance provided). Both graduate and undergraduate students welcome, as well as students from public health and all other campus academic areas.

COURSE AIMS

  • Review and critically examine data sources and research methods
  • Understand size and scope of the problem, social costs, financial burden
  • Review of methods of Injury Surveillance (ICD codes, measuring exposure, risk assessment)
  • Understand injury patterns through the lens of social and economic gradients and demographics, and injury prevention through the lens of community engagement and empowerment
  • Review and evaluate injury prevention strategies, with emphasis on system level approaches

TOPICS FOR FALL 2021

  • Overview (definition, scope of the burden of injury, sources of data, systems approach to injury prevention and control)
  • Occupational injury (social and economic impact, role of liability and workers’ compensation)
  • Motor vehicles (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths)
  • Pedestrian, bicyclist, micromobility injury (critical issue in mode shift to walking, biking, micromobility)
  • Domestic violence
  • Firearms (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths, including homicide, suicide, and unintentional)

Instructors
David Ragland, PhD, MPH
Co-Director, Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC)
UC Berkeley School of Public Health
davidr@berkeley.edu

Glenn Shor, PhD, MPP

CalOSHA, California Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (retired)
Continuing Lecturer, UC Berkeley School of Public Health
gshor@berkeley.edu

Lisa Peterson, MPH
Communications Manager, Safe Transportation Research and Education Center (SafeTREC)
UC Berkeley School of Public Health
lisapeterson@berkeley.edu