Injury Prevention and Control

Image of pedestrians in downtown city crosswalk

COURSE OVERVIEW

Injury is the leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and the leading cause of years of potential life lost to age 65, surpassing heart disease and cancer.

The general topic of injury is very diverse, including unintentional and intentional injury. 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 subject areas. Course activities include discussion and critique of key readings, web-based and observational assignments, and a paper and presentation at the end of the semester. Throughout the course, we will consider the application of a systems approach to injury prevention and control. A major course theme will be a focus on how injury patterns are influenced by societal health inequities and what injury prevention conducted through the lens of community engagement and empowerment looks like. An extra-unit is available for students who wish to prepare a paper for publication (guidance provided).

PUBLIC HEALTH BURDEN OF INJURY

  • 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 through road traffic, occupational exposure, violence, war, and self-inflicted causes.
  • Leading cause of death for ages 1-44, and leading cause of potential years of life lost to age 65, surpassing heart disease and cancer.

COURSE AIMS

  • Awareness and analysis of sources of information about injury.
  • Injuries as a major public health problem (size and scope of the problem, social costs, financial burden).
  • Injury surveillance (ICD codes, measuring exposure, risk assessment).
  • Social and economic gradients in the burden of injury.
  • Application of a systems approach to injury prevention.
  • Understand injury patterns through the lens of health inequities and injury prevention through the lens of community engagement and empowerment.

TOPICS FOR FALL 2020

  • Overview (definition, scope of the burden of injury, sources of data)
  • Systems approach to injury prevention and control
  • Motor vehicles (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths)
  • Pedestrian and bicyclist injury (critical issue in mode shift to walking and biking)
  • Firearms (a leading cause of U.S. injury deaths, including homicide, suicide, and unintentional)
  • Occupational injury (social and economic impact, role of workers’ compensation)
  • Emergency medical response (current status, potential improvements)

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