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1.  Aboriginal Community-Centered Injury Surveillance: A Community-Based Participatory Process Evaluation 
Prevention Science  2011;13(2):107-117.
While injuries are a leading health concern for Aboriginal populations, injury rates and types vary substantially across bands. The uniqueness of Aboriginal communities highlights the importance of collecting community-level injury surveillance data to assist with identifying local injury patterns, setting priorities for action and evaluating programs. Secwepemc First Nations communities in British Columbia, Canada, implemented the Injury Surveillance Project using the Aboriginal Community-Centered Injury Surveillance System. This paper presents findings from a community-based participatory process evaluation of the Injury Surveillance Project. Qualitative data collection methods were informed by OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession) principles and included focus groups, interviews and document review. Results focused on lessons learned through the planning, implementation and management of the Injury Surveillance Project identifying lessons related to: project leadership and staff, training, project funding, initial project outcomes, and community readiness. Key findings included the central importance of a community-based and paced approach guided by OCAP principles, the key role of leadership and project champions, and the strongly collaborative relationships between the project communities. Findings may assist with successful implementation of community-based health surveillance in other settings and with other health issues and illustrate another path to self-determination for Aboriginal communities. The evaluation methods represent an example of a collaborative community-driven approach guided by OCAP principles necessary for work with Aboriginal communities.
PMCID: PMC3304060  PMID: 22138890
First Nations; Community-driven; Participatory evaluation; OCAP; Community readiness
2.  ACCISS study rationale and design: activating collaborative cancer information service support for cervical cancer screening 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:444.
High-quality cancer information resources are available but underutilized by the public. Despite greater awareness of the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service among low-income African Americans and Hispanics compared with Caucasians, actual Cancer Information Service usage is lower than expected, paralleling excess cancer-related morbidity and mortality for these subgroups. The proposed research examines how to connect the Cancer Information Service to low-income African-American and Hispanic women and their health care providers. The study will examine whether targeted physician mailing to women scheduled for colposcopy to follow up an abnormal Pap test can increase calls to the Cancer Information Service, enhance appropriate medical follow-up, and improve satisfaction with provider-patient communication.
The study will be conducted in two clinics in ethnically diverse low-income communities in Chicago. During the formative phase, patients and providers will provide input regarding materials planned for use in the experimental phase of the study. The experimental phase will use a two-group prospective randomized controlled trial design. African American and Hispanic women with an abnormal Pap test will be randomized to Usual Care (routine colposcopy reminder letter) or Intervention (reminder plus provider recommendation to call the Cancer Information Service and sample questions to ask). Primary outcomes will be: 1) calls to the Cancer Information Service; 2) timely medical follow-up, operationalized by whether the patient keeps her colposcopy appointment within six months of the abnormal Pap; and 3) patient satisfaction with provider-patient communication at follow-up.
The study examines the effectiveness of a feasible, sustainable, and culturally sensitive strategy to increase awareness and use of the Cancer Information Service among an underserved population. The goal of linking a public service (the Cancer Information Service) with real-life settings of practice (the clinics), and considering input from patients, providers, and Cancer Information Service staff, is to ensure that the intervention, if proven effective, can be incorporated into existing care systems and sustained. The approach to study design and planning is aimed at bridging the gap between research and practice/service.
Trial Registration
PMCID: PMC2790457  PMID: 19951443
3.  The development of an evaluation framework for injury surveillance systems 
BMC Public Health  2009;9:260.
Access to good quality information from injury surveillance is essential to develop and monitor injury prevention activities. To determine if information obtained from surveillance is of high quality, the limitations and strengths of a surveillance system are often examined. Guidelines have been developed to assist in evaluating certain types of surveillance systems. However, to date, no standard guidelines have been developed to specifically evaluate an injury surveillance system. The aim of this research is to develop a framework to guide the evaluation of injury surveillance systems.
The development of an Evaluation Framework for Injury Surveillance Systems (EFISS) involved a four stage process. First, a literature review was conducted to identify an initial set of characteristics that were recognised as important and/or had been recommended to be assessed in an evaluation of a surveillance system. Second, this set of characteristics was assessed using SMART criteria. Third, those surviving were presented to an expert panel using a two round modified-Delphi study to gain an alternative perspective on characteristic definitions, practicality of assessment, and characteristic importance. Finally, a rating system was created for the EFISS characteristics.
The resulting EFISS consisted of 18 characteristics that assess three areas of an injury surveillance system – five characteristics assess data quality, nine characteristics assess the system's operation, and four characteristics assess the practical capability of an injury surveillance system. A rating system assesses the performance of each characteristic.
The development of the EFISS builds upon existing evaluation guidelines for surveillance systems and provides a framework tailored to evaluate an injury surveillance system. Ultimately, information obtained through an evaluation of an injury data collection using the EFISS would be useful for agencies to recommend how a collection could be improved to increase its usefulness for injury surveillance and in the long-term injury prevention.
PMCID: PMC2731099  PMID: 19627617
4.  Retrospective review of all-terrain vehicle accidents in Alberta 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  2012;55(4):249-253.
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are frequently associated with injuries and deaths. In spite of this, very few guidelines, let alone legal restrictions, exist to guide users of these machines.
We conducted a standardized review of prospectively collected data from the Alberta Trauma Registry. All patients who were involved in ATV-related traumas from 2003 to 2008 with an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12 were included. The variables studied were age, sex, type of vehicle, purpose of use, person injured (driver or passenger), ISS, distribution of injuries, length of hospital stay, helmet use and death.
We evaluated 435 patients with ATV-related injuries and ISS greater than 12. The average ISS was 22.8, with an overall mortality of 4.6%; 55% of patients were not wearing helmets, and most of the deaths (85%) occurred among these individuals. Helmet use was associated with a lower risk of mechanical ventilation and of injury to the head and/or cervical spine. Children accounted for 18.9% of all patients and 15% of deaths; 57% of them were wearing helmets at the time of their accidents.
All-terrain vehicle use in Alberta carries a significant risk of injury and death, and there is an association between death and lack of helmet use. A minimum age for ATV use of at least 16 years and a legal requirement for helmet use may increase public awareness of these risks and decrease morbidity and mortality.
PMCID: PMC3404145  PMID: 22617540
5.  Electronic immunization data collection systems: application of an evaluation framework 
Evaluating the features and performance of health information systems can serve to strengthen the systems themselves as well as to guide other organizations in the process of designing and implementing surveillance tools. We adapted an evaluation framework in order to assess electronic immunization data collection systems, and applied it in two Ontario public health units.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems are broad in nature and serve as an organizational tool to guide the development of comprehensive evaluation materials. Based on these Guidelines, and informed by other evaluation resources and input from stakeholders in the public health community, we applied an evaluation framework to two examples of immunization data collection and examined several system attributes: simplicity, flexibility, data quality, timeliness, and acceptability. Data collection approaches included key informant interviews, logic and completeness assessments, client surveys, and on-site observations.
Both evaluated systems allow high-quality immunization data to be collected, analyzed, and applied in a rapid fashion. However, neither system is currently able to link to other providers’ immunization data or provincial data sources, limiting the comprehensiveness of coverage assessments. We recommended that both organizations explore possibilities for external data linkage and collaborate with other jurisdictions to promote a provincial immunization repository or data sharing platform.
Electronic systems such as the ones described in this paper allow immunization data to be collected, analyzed, and applied in a rapid fashion, and represent the infostructure required to establish a population-based immunization registry, critical for comprehensively assessing vaccine coverage.
PMCID: PMC3898919  PMID: 24423014
Immunization; Information systems; Data collection; Program evaluation
6.  Is the HIV sentinel surveillance system adequate in China? Findings from an evaluation of the national HIV sentinel surveillance system 
An external evaluation was conducted to assess the performance of the national HIV sentinel surveillance system (HSS), identify operational challenges at national and local levels and provide recommendations for improvement.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Updated Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems were followed to assess the key attributes of HSS. Comprehensive assessment activities were conducted, including: using a detailed checklist to review surveillance guidelines, protocols and relevant documents; conducting self-administered, anonymous surveys with 286 local China CDC staff; and carrying out field observations in 32 sentinel sites in four provinces.
China has built an extensive HSS with 1888 sentinel sites to monitor HIV epidemic trends by population groups over time. The strengths of HSS lie in its flexibility, simplicity, usefulness and increase in coverage in locations and populations. With its rapid expansion in 2010, HSS faces challenges in maintaining acceptability, timeliness, data quality, representativeness and sustainability.
Implementation of the national guidelines should be standardized by strengthening training, monitoring and supervision of all staff involved, including community-based organizations. National surveillance guidelines need to be revised to strengthen data quality and representativeness, particularly to include specific instructions on HIV testing result provision, collection of identifying information, sample size and sampling methods particularly for men who have sex with men (MSM), collection of refusal information, and data interpretation. Sustainability of China’s HSS could be strengthened by applying locally tailored surveillance strategies, strengthening coordination and cooperation among government agencies and ensuring financial and human resources.
PMCID: PMC3729100  PMID: 23908946
7.  The utility of administrative data for neurotrauma surveillance and prevention in Ontario, Canada 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:584.
Surveillance of neurotrauma events is necessary to guide the development and evaluation of effective injury prevention initiatives. The aim of this paper is to review potential sources of existing population-based data to inform neurotrauma prevention in Canada, using sources available in Ontario as an example. Data sources, including administrative data holdings from Ontario’s publicly funded health care system and ongoing national surveys, were reviewed to determine the degree of relevance for neurotrauma surveillance, using standards outlined by the World Health Organization as a framework.
Five key data sources were identified for neurotrauma surveillance. Five other sources were considered useful; cause of injury was not identifiable in 5 additional sources; and 4 sources were not relevant for surveillance purposes.
We provide information about which existing data sources are most relevant for neurotrauma surveillance and research, as well as examine the strengths and limitations of these sources. Administrative data can be used to facilitate surveillance of neurotrauma and are considered both useful and cost effective for the development and evaluation of injury prevention programs.
PMCID: PMC3532139  PMID: 23098419
Prevention; Surveillance; Spinal cord injuries; Brain injuries; Data sources
8.  National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System Commentaries: Introduction and Methods 
Journal of Athletic Training  2007;42(2):173-182.
Objective: To describe the history and methods of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Injury Surveillance System (ISS) as a complement to the sport-specific chapters that follow.
Background: The NCAA has maintained the ISS for intercollegiate athletics since 1982. The primary goal of the ISS is to collect injury and exposure data from a representative sample of NCAA institutions in a variety of sports. Relevant data are then shared with the appropriate NCAA sport and policy committees to provide a foundation for evidence-based decision making with regard to health and safety issues.
Description: The ISS monitors formal team activities, numbers of participants, and associated time-loss athletic injuries from the first day of formal preseason practice to the final postseason contest for 16 collegiate sports. In this special issue of the Journal of Athletic Training, injury information in 15 collegiate sports from the period covering 1988–1989 to 2003–2004 is evaluated.
Conclusions: Athletic trainers and the NCAA have collaborated for 25 years through the NCAA ISS to create the largest ongoing collegiate sports injury database in the world. Data collection through the ISS, followed by annual review via the NCAA sport rules and sports medicine committee structure, is a unique mechanism that has led to significant advances in health and safety policy within and beyond college athletics. The publication of this special issue and the evolution of an expanded Web-based ISS enhance the opportunity to apply the health and safety decision-making process at the level of the individual athletic trainer and institution.
PMCID: PMC1941300  PMID: 21714302
athletics; sports; exposures; athletic injuries; injury mechanisms; injury rates; injury surveillance; practices; games
9.  Draft framework for evaluating syndromic surveillance systems 
Interest in public health surveillance to detect outbreaks from terrorism is driving the exploration of nontraditional data sources and development of new performance priorities for surveillance systems. A draft framework for evaluating syndromic surveillance systems will help researchers and public health practitioners working on nontraditional surveillance to review their work in a systematic way and communicate their efforts. The framework will also guide public health practitioners in their efforts to compare and contrast aspects of syndromic surveillance systems and decide whether and how to develop and maintain such systems. In addition, a common framework will allow the identification and prioritization of research and evaluation needs. The evaluation framework is comprised of five components: a thorough description of the system (e.g., purpose, stakeholders, how the system works); system performance experience (e.g., usefulness, acceptability to stakeholders, generalizability to other settings, operating stability, costs); capacity for outbreak detection (e.g., flexibility to adapt to changing risks and data inputs, sensitivity to detect outbreaks, predictive value of system alarms for true outbreaks, timeliness of detection); assessment of data quality (e.g., representativeness of the population covered by the system, completeness of data capture, reliability of data captured overtime); and conclusions and recommendations. The draft framework is intended to evolve into guidance to support public health practice for terrorism preparedness and outbreak detection.
PMCID: PMC3456539  PMID: 12791773
Evaluation; Nontraditional surveillance; Syndromic surveillance
10.  ISS-An Electronic Syndromic Surveillance System for Infectious Disease in Rural China 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62749.
syndromic surveillance system has great advantages in promoting the early detection of epidemics and reducing the necessities of disease confirmation, and it is especially effective for surveillance in resource poor settings. However, most current syndromic surveillance systems are established in developed countries, and there are very few reports on the development of an electronic syndromic surveillance system in resource-constrained settings.
this study describes the design and pilot implementation of an electronic surveillance system (ISS) for the early detection of infectious disease epidemics in rural China, complementing the conventional case report surveillance system.
ISS was developed based on an existing platform ‘Crisis Information Sharing Platform’ (CRISP), combining with modern communication and GIS technology. ISS has four interconnected functions: 1) work group and communication group; 2) data source and collection; 3) data visualization; and 4) outbreak detection and alerting.
As of Jan. 31st 2012, ISS has been installed and pilot tested for six months in four counties in rural China. 95 health facilities, 14 pharmacies and 24 primary schools participated in the pilot study, entering respectively 74256, 79701, and 2330 daily records into the central database. More than 90% of surveillance units at the study sites are able to send daily information into the system. In the paper, we also presented the pilot data from health facilities in the two counties, which showed the ISS system had the potential to identify the change of disease patterns at the community level.
The ISS platform may facilitate the early detection of infectious disease epidemic as it provides near real-time syndromic data collection, interactive visualization, and automated aberration detection. However, several constraints and challenges were encountered during the pilot implementation of ISS in rural China.
PMCID: PMC3633833  PMID: 23626853
11.  Validity of Soccer Injury Data from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Injury Surveillance System 
Journal of Athletic Training  2011;46(5):489-499.
Few validation studies of sport injury-surveillance systems are available.
To determine the validity of a Web-based system for surveillance of collegiate sport injuries, the Injury Surveillance System (ISS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's (NCAA).
Validation study comparing NCAA ISS data from 2 fall collegiate sports (men's and women's soccer) with other types of clinical records maintained by certified athletic trainers.
A purposive sample of 15 NCAA colleges and universities that provided NCAA ISS data on both men's and women's soccer for at least 2 years during 2005–2007, stratified by playing division.
Patients or Other Participants:
A total of 737 men's and women's soccer athletes and 37 athletic trainers at these 15 institutions.
Main Outcome Measure(s):
The proportion of injuries captured by the NCAA ISS (capture rate) was estimated by comparing NCAA ISS data with the other clinical records on the same athletes maintained by the athletic trainers. We reviewed all athletic injury events resulting from participation in NCAA collegiate sports that resulted in 1 day or more of restricted activity in games or practices and necessitated medical care. A capture-recapture analysis estimated the proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS. Agreement for key data fields was also measured.
We analyzed 664 injury events. The NCAA ISS captured 88.3% (95% confidence interval = 85.9%, 90.8%) of all time-lost medical-attention injury events. The proportion of injury events captured by the NCAA ISS was higher in Division I (93.8%) and Division II (89.6%) than in Division III (82.3%) schools. Agreement between the NCAA ISS data and the non–NCAA ISS data was good for the majority of data fields but low for date of full return and days lost from sport participation.
The overall capture rate of the NCAA ISS was very good (88%) in men's and women's soccer for this period.
PMCID: PMC3418955  PMID: 22488136
capture-recapture analysis; injury epidemiology; time loss; collegiate athletes
12.  Establishing a national influenza sentinel surveillance system in a limited resource setting, experience of Sierra Leone 
Acute respiratory infections remain a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Sierra Leone; however, similar to other African countries, little is known regarding the contribution of influenza. Routine influenza surveillance is thus a key element to improve understanding of the burden of acute respiratory infections in Africa. In 2011, the World Health Organization (WHO) funded the Strengthening Influenza Sentinel Surveillance in Africa (SISA) project with the goal of developing and strengthening influenza surveillance in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra Leone. This paper describes the process of establishing a functional Influenza Sentinel Surveillance (ISS) system in Sierra Leone, a post-conflict resource-poor country previously lacking an influenza monitoring system.
Sierra Leone utilized a systematic approach, including situational assessment, selection of sentinel sites, preparation of implementation plan, adaptation of the standard operating procedures, supervision and training of staff, and monitoring of influenza surveillance activities. The methods used in Sierra Leone were adapted to its specific context, using the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy as a platform for establishing ISS.
The ISS system started functioning in August 2011 with subsequent capacity to contribute surveillance activity data to global influenza databases, FluID and FluNet, demonstrating a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone within the period of the WHO SISA project support. Several factors were necessary for successful implementation, including a systematic approach, national ownership, appropriate timing and external support.
The WHO SISA project demonstrated the feasibility of building a functional influenza surveillance system in Sierra Leone, integrated into existing national IDSR system. The ISS system, if sustained long-term, would provide valuable data to determine epidemiological and virological patterns and seasonal trends to assess the influenza disease burden that will ultimately guide national control strategies.
PMCID: PMC3694480  PMID: 23800108
13.  A surveillance sector review applied to infectious diseases at a country level 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:332.
The new International Health Regulations (IHR) require World Health Organization (WHO) member states to assess their core capacity for surveillance. Such reviews also have the potential to identify important surveillance gaps, improve the organisation of disparate surveillance systems and to focus attention on upstream hazards, determinants and interventions.
We developed a surveillance sector review method for evaluating all of the surveillance systems and related activities across a sector, in this case those concerned with infectious diseases in New Zealand. The first stage was a systematic description of these surveillance systems using a newly developed framework and classification system. Key informant interviews were conducted to validate the available information on the systems identified.
We identified 91 surveillance systems and related activities in the 12 coherent categories of infectious diseases examined. The majority (n = 40 or 44%) of these were disease surveillance systems. They covered all categories, particularly for more severe outcomes including those resulting in death or hospitalisations. Except for some notifiable diseases and influenza, surveillance of less severe, but important infectious diseases occurring in the community was largely absent. There were 31 systems (34%) for surveillance of upstream infectious disease hazards, including risk and protective factors. This area tended to have many potential gaps and lack integration, partly because such systems were operated by a range of different agencies, often outside the health sector. There were fewer surveillance systems for determinants, including population size and characteristics (n = 9), and interventions (n = 11).
It was possible to create and populate a workable framework for describing all the infectious diseases surveillance systems and related activities in a single developed country and to identify potential surveillance sector gaps. This is the first stage in a review process that will lead to identification of priorities for surveillance sector development.
PMCID: PMC3224743  PMID: 20540772
14.  An overview of the injury severity score and the new injury severity score 
Injury Prevention  2001;7(1):10-13.
Objective—The research was undertaken to describe the injury severity score (ISS) and the new injury severity score (NISS) and to illustrate their statistical properties.
Design—Descriptive analysis and assessment of the distribution of these scales.
Methods—Three data sources—the National Pediatric Trauma Registry; the Massachusetts Uniform Hospital Discharge Data Set; and a trauma registry from an urban level I trauma center in Massachusetts—were used to describe the distribution of the ISS and NISS among injured patients.
Results—The ISS/NISS was found to have a positively skewed distribution and transformation did not improve their skewness.
Conclusion—The findings suggest that for statistical or analytical purposes the ISS/NISS should not be considered a continuous variable, particularly if ISS/NISS is treated as a continuous variable for correlation with an outcome measure.
PMCID: PMC1730702  PMID: 11289527
15.  Evaluating Usefulness of Maine’s Syndromic Surveillance System for Hospitals, 2012 
To assess the usefulness and acceptability of Maine’s syndromic surveillance system among hospitals who currently participate.
Maine has been conducting syndromic surveillance since 2007 using the Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS). An evaluation of the syndromic surveillance system was conducted to determine if system objectives are being met, assess the system’s usefulness, and identify areas for improvement. According to CDC’s Guidelines for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems, a surveillance system is useful if it contributes to the timely prevention and control of adverse health events. Acceptability includes the willingness of participants to report surveillance data; participation or reporting rate; and completeness of data.
A survey was created in 2012 to measure usefulness and acceptability among hospital partners who submit emergency department data to Maine CDC for syndromic surveillance. Currently, 24 of Maine’s 37 emergency departments collect syndromic surveillance data and 20 of those receive a weekly syndromic surveillance report from Maine CDC. The survey was included with the report on August 14, 2012, and hospitals were given two weeks for completion. The survey included questions about how useful hospitals find syndromic surveillance and how data is shared back with the hospitals; which syndromes are most and least useful; and chief complaint data collection at individual hospitals.
The survey was completed by 13 out of 22 emergency departments (59% participation rate), and six out of 13 respondents (46%) completed the entire survey. The factors reported as having an influence on a hospital’s decision to submit data for syndromic surveillance were: public health importance of events (6 respondents) and assurance of privacy/confidentiality (5 respondents). The majority of respondents (5 respondents) reported that there are no factors that limit their ability to send emergency department data. Among hospitals that did report factors that limit their ability to send data, lack of information technology support in the hospital (2 respondents) and manually entering data/lack of electronic health records (1 respondent) were the most frequently reported. Six out of seven hospitals who answered (86°%) reported the current method of sharing syndromic surveillance data on a weekly basis, including a statewide data summary, as useful. Respondents also recommended that data be shared back with participants using 30-day line graphs for each syndrome (4 respondents). The three syndromes respondents found most useful were influenzalike illness (7 respondents), gastrointestinal (5 respondents), and respiratory (5 respondents). The three syndromes respondents found least useful were the broad heat syndrome (4 respondents), the narrow heat syndrome (4 respondents), and the other syndrome that captures all visits not classified into any syndrome (4 respondents). Chief complaint data, which is used to classify emergency department visits into syndromes, is most often recorded by a drop-menu (4 respondents).
With a low survey completion rate, it is difficult to generalize responses to all hospitals who participate in syndromic surveillance. Hospitals that did not respond to or complete the survey will be followed up with to determine their reasons for not doing so, as this may be useful information. In general, those who responded have more factors that influence them to contribute to syndromic surveillance than factors that hinder them. Most hospitals find the current method of sharing data back with the hospitals useful. Also, it is advantageous to know which syndromes the hospitals find most useful, as they are the entities that collect and report the data. Opinions differ among system users, which is why it is important to evaluate a system throughout all points of interaction.
PMCID: PMC3692825
Syndromic surveillance; Evaluation; Acceptability
16.  Outcomes after severe trauma at a northern Canadian regional trauma centre 
Canadian Journal of Surgery  1998;41(1):53-58.
To evaluate outcomes of trauma patients at a northern community trauma referral centre that does not meet several of the guidelines for a trauma centre.
A retrospective study.
Sudbury General Hospital in northern Ontario.
All trauma patients admitted between 1991 and 1994 who had an Injury Severity Score (ISS) greater than 12.
Outcome measures
Actual survival to discharge was compared to survival predicted by TRISS analysis. Z, W and M scores were calculated by standard TRISS techniques.
Of 526 patients with an ISS greater than 12, 416 (79%) were suitable for TRISS analysis. Of these 416 patients, 310 (74%) were men. The mean age was 39 years. Two hundred and sixty-one (63%) patients were admitted directly to the Sudbury General Hospital, whereas 155 (37%) were transferred from other hospitals. The leading causes of injury were motor vehicle–traffic accidents in 48%, motor vehicle–nontraffic in 21% and falls in 8%. Overall, there were more unexpected survivors than patients who died. The Z score for survivors was 4.95, and the W score was 5.66.
In the setting of a geographically isolated, medium-volume trauma centre where blunt injuries predominate, excellent trauma survival can be achieved without meeting all trauma centre guidelines for staffing and facilities. Relaxing stringent requirements for the availability of physicians may facilitate surgical recruitment and retention.
PMCID: PMC3950062  PMID: 9492748
17.  Systematic review of predictive performance of injury severity scoring tools 
Many injury severity scoring tools have been developed over the past few decades. These tools include the Injury Severity Score (ISS), New ISS (NISS), Trauma and Injury Severity Score (TRISS) and International Classification of Diseases (ICD)-based Injury Severity Score (ICISS). Although many studies have endeavored to determine the ability of these tools to predict the mortality of injured patients, their results have been inconsistent. We conducted a systematic review to summarize the predictive performances of these tools and explore the heterogeneity among studies. We defined a relevant article as any research article that reported the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve as a measure of predictive performance. We conducted an online search using MEDLINE and Embase. We evaluated the quality of each relevant article using a quality assessment questionnaire consisting of 10 questions. The total number of positive answers was reported as the quality score of the study. Meta-analysis was not performed due to the heterogeneity among studies. We identified 64 relevant articles with 157 AUROCs of the tools. The median number of positive answers to the questionnaire was 5, ranging from 2 to 8. Less than half of the relevant studies reported the version of the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) and/or ICD (37.5%). The heterogeneity among the studies could be observed in a broad distribution of crude mortality rates of study data, ranging from 1% to 38%. The NISS was mostly reported to perform better than the ISS when predicting the mortality of blunt trauma patients. The relative performance of the ICSS against the AIS-based tools was inconclusive because of the scarcity of studies. The performance of the ICISS appeared to be unstable because the performance could be altered by the type of formula and survival risk ratios used. In conclusion, high-quality studies were limited. The NISS might perform better in the mortality prediction of blunt injuries than the ISS. Additional studies are required to standardize the derivation of the ICISS and determine the relative performance of the ICISS against the AIS-based tools.
PMCID: PMC3511252  PMID: 22964071
ISS; NISS; TRISS; ICISS; AUROC; Outcome prediction
18.  Modern contact investigation methods for enhancing tuberculosis control in Aboriginal communities 
International Journal of Circumpolar Health  2012;71:10.3402/ijch.v71i0.18643.
The Aboriginal communities in Canada are challenged by a disproportionate burden of TB infection and disease. Contact investigation (CI) guidelines exist but these strategies do not take into account the unique social structure of different populations. Because of the limitations of traditional CI, new approaches are under investigation and include the use of social network analysis, geographic information systems and genomics, in addition to the widespread use of genotyping to better understand TB transmission. Guidelines for the routine use of network methods and other novel methodologies for TB CI and outbreak investigation do not exist despite the gathering evidence that these approaches can positively impact TB control efforts, even in Aboriginal communities. The feasibility and efficacy of these novel approaches to CI in Aboriginal communities requires further investigation. The successful integration of these novel methodologies will require community involvement, capacity building and ongoing support at every level. The outcome will not only be the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of CI data in high-burden communities to assess transmission but the prioritization of contacts who are candidates for treatment of LTBI which will break the cycle of transmission. Ultimately, the measure of success will be a clear and sustained decline in TB incidence in Aboriginal communities.
PMCID: PMC3417709  PMID: 22663943
tuberculosis; contact investigations; Aboriginal communities
19.  Challenges in the implementation of an electronic surveillance system in a resource-limited setting: Alerta, in Peru 
BMC Proceedings  2008;2(Suppl 3):S4.
Infectious disease surveillance is a primary public health function in resource-limited settings. In 2003, an electronic disease surveillance system (Alerta) was established in the Peruvian Navy with support from the U.S. Naval Medical Research Center Detachment (NMRCD). Many challenges arose during the implementation process, and a variety of solutions were applied. The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss these issues.
This is a retrospective description of the Alerta implementation. After a thoughtful evaluation according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, the main challenges to implementation were identified and solutions were devised in the context of a resource-limited setting, Peru.
After four years of operation, we have identified a number of challenges in implementing and operating this electronic disease surveillance system. These can be divided into the following categories: (1) issues with personnel and stakeholders; (2) issues with resources in a developing setting; (3) issues with processes involved in the collection of data and operation of the system; and (4) issues with organization at the central hub. Some of the challenges are unique to resource-limited settings, but many are applicable for any surveillance system. For each of these challenges, we developed feasible solutions that are discussed.
There are many challenges to overcome when implementing an electronic disease surveillance system, not only related to technology issues. A comprehensive approach is required for success, including: technical support, personnel management, effective training, and cultural sensitivity in order to assure the effective deployment of an electronic disease surveillance system.
PMCID: PMC2587690  PMID: 19025681
20.  Implementation of WHO/CDC Guidelines for Intentional Injury Death Surveillance: A Mixed-Methods Approach in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania 
Homicide studies  2011;15(3):253-267.
A foundational implementation of the WHO/CDC Injury Surveillance Guidelines was conducted in Dar es Salaam region of the United Republic of Tanzania in 2005. The Guidelines were adapted to gather qualitative as well as quantitative data about intentional injury mortality which were collected concurrently at the Muhimbili National Hospital Mortuary. An interview schedule of 12 quantitative variables and one open-ended question, participant observation and newspaper reports were used. Mixed methods allowed an understanding of intentional injury mortality to emerge, even for those with the least amount of data, the 22% of homicides whose bodies were never claimed. Mixed methods made it possible to quantify intentional injury mortality rates, describe subpopulations with scanty data, and learn how to embed ongoing injury mortality surveillance into daily practice.
PMCID: PMC3796206  PMID: 24130432
Injury surveillance; Africa; mixed methods research; homicide; newspaper coverage of homicide; unidentified homicides; mob violence
21.  Childhood falls: characteristics, outcome, and comparison of the Injury Severity Score and New Injury Severity Score 
Emergency Medicine Journal : EMJ  2006;23(7):540-545.
The aim of this study was to determine the general characteristics of childhood falls, factors affecting on mortality, and to compare the Injury Severity Score (ISS) and the New Injury Severity Score (NISS) as predictors of mortality and length of hospital stay in childhood falls.
We retrospectively analysed over a period of 8 years children aged younger than14 years who had sustained falls and who were admitted to our emergency department. Data on the patients' age, sex, type of fall, height fallen, arrival type, type of injuries, scoring systems, and outcome were investigated retrospectively. The ISS and NISS were calculated for each patient. Comparisons between ISS and NISS for prediction of mortality were made by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and Hosmer‐Lemeshow (HL) goodness of fit statistics.
In total, there were 2061 paediatric trauma patients. Falls comprised 36 (n = 749) of these admissions. There were 479 male and 270 female patients. The mean (SD) age was 5.01 (3.48) years, and height fallen was 3.8 (3) metres. Over half (56.6%) of patients were referred by other centres. The most common type of fall was from balconies (38.5%), and head trauma was the most common injury (50%). The overall mortality rate was 3.6%. The cut off value for both the ISS and NISS in predicting mortality was 22 (sensitivity 90.5%, specificity 95.4% for ISS; sensitivity 100%, specificity 88.7% for NISS) (p>0.05). Significant factors affecting mortality in logistic regression analysis were Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) <9, ISS >22, and NISS >22. There were no significant differences in ROC between three scoring systems. The HL statistic showed poorer calibration (p = 0.02 v p = 0.37, respectively) of the NISS compared with the ISS.
In our series, the head was the most frequent site of injury, and the most common type of fall was from balconies. Scores on the GCS, NISS, and ISS are significantly associated with mortality. The performance of the NISS and ISS in predicting mortality in childhood falls was similar.
PMCID: PMC2579549  PMID: 16794098
childhood falls; injury severity score; new injury severity score; mortality
22.  The risk of early mortality of polytrauma patients associated to ISS, NISS, APACHE II values and prothrombin time 
The early hemodynamic normalization of polytrauma patients may lead to better survival outcomes. The aim of this study was to assess the diagnostic quality of trauma and physiological scores from widely used scoring systems in polytrauma patients.
In total, 770 patients with ISS > 16 who were admitted to a trauma center within the first 24 hours after injury were included in this retrospective study. The patients were subdivided into three groups: those who died on the day of admission, those who died within the first three days, and those who survived for longer than three days. ISS, NISS, APACHE II score, and prothrombin time were recorded at admission.
The descriptive statistics for early death in polytrauma patients who died on the day of admission, 1–3 days after admission, and > 3 days after admission were: ISS of 41.0, 34.0, and 29.0, respectively; NISS of 50.0, 50.0, and 41.0, respectively; APACHE II score of 30.0, 25.0, and 15.0, respectively; and prothrombin time of 37.0%, 56.0%, and 84%, respectively. These data indicate that prothrombin time (AUC: 0.89) and APACHE II (AUC: 0.88) have the greatest prognostic utility for early death.
The estimated densities of the scores may suggest a direction for resuscitative procedures in polytrauma patients.
Trial registration
“Retrospektive Analysen in der Chirurgischen Intensivmedizin”StV01-2008.
PMCID: PMC3671213  PMID: 23705945
Polytrauma; ISS; NISS; APACHE II; Prothrombin time
23.  Mental health first aid for Indigenous Australians: using Delphi consensus studies to develop guidelines for culturally appropriate responses to mental health problems 
BMC Psychiatry  2009;9:47.
Ethnic minority groups are under-represented in mental health care services because of barriers such as poor mental health literacy. In 2007, the Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) program implemented a cultural adaptation of its first aid course to improve the capacity of Indigenous Australians to recognise and respond to mental health issues within their own communities. It became apparent that the content of this training would be improved by the development of best practice guidelines. This research aimed to develop culturally appropriate guidelines for providing first aid to an Australian Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person who is experiencing a mental health crisis or developing a mental illness.
A panel of Australian Aboriginal people who are experts in Aboriginal mental health, participated in six independent Delphi studies investigating depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts and behaviours, deliberate self-injury, trauma and loss, and cultural considerations. The panel varied in size across the studies, from 20-24 participants. Panellists were presented with statements about possible first aid actions via online questionnaires and were encouraged to suggest additional actions not covered by the survey content. Statements were accepted for inclusion in a guideline if they were endorsed by ≥ 90% of panellists as essential or important. Each study developed one guideline from the outcomes of three Delphi questionnaire rounds. At the end of the six Delphi studies, participants were asked to give feedback on the value of the project and their participation experience.
From a total of 1,016 statements shown to the panel of experts, 536 statements were endorsed (94 for depression, 151 for psychosis, 52 for suicidal thoughts and behaviours, 53 for deliberate self-injury, 155 for trauma and loss, and 31 for cultural considerations). The methodology and the guidelines themselves were found to be useful and appropriate by the panellists.
Aboriginal mental health experts were able to reach consensus about culturally appropriate first aid for mental illness. The Delphi consensus method could be useful more generally for consulting Indigenous peoples about culturally appropriate best practice in mental health services.
PMCID: PMC2729076  PMID: 19646284
24.  Public health surveillance in child-care settings. 
Public Health Reports  1995;110(2):119-124.
To investigate the potential contribution of public health surveillance systems to the health of children and workers in out-of-home child-care settings, we review existing public health surveillance practice in the United States. We identify issues that are of particular concern for surveillance in child-care settings. We propose a framework for developing public health surveillance systems that uses sentinel child-care sites, notifiable disease surveillance, modification of existing surveillance systems, and population surveys. Successful surveillance in these settings depends on the active participation of child-care providers, public health practitioners, and clinicians in (a) the selection of high priority diseases and injuries for surveillance; (b) the development of practical case definitions; (c) the augmentation of current surveillance systems to include disease and injury related to child care; and (d) the implementation, assessment, dissemination, and evaluation of new approaches for surveillance in child-care settings.
PMCID: PMC1382090  PMID: 7630987
25.  Measuring the severity of injury1 
Attempts have been made to improve the Injury Severity Score (ISS) system of Baker et al. (1974) using plasma lactate data obtained from 277 patients shortly after injury and before treatment. The ISS is based on the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) values of the individual injuries, being the sum of the squares of the values for the three most severely injured regions. Log (plasma lactate concentration) is positively related to ISS over its whole range. It was not possible to vary the AIS values, either on clinical grounds or using a computer, in such a way that the variance of the log (plasma lactate concentration) about its regression line with ISS was significantly reduced. With a score based on the sum of the squares of the AIS values for all the patient's injuries, some improvement to the AIS values could be made but it was not statistically significant. At the present time Baker's ISS method would seem to be the best way of grading injuries for acute studies.
PMCID: PMC1440048  PMID: 7230174

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