There is evidence from 2 previous meta-analyses that interventions to promote poison prevention behaviours are effective in increasing a range of poison prevention practices in households with children. The published meta-analyses compared any intervention against a “usual care or no intervention” which potentially limits the usefulness of the analysis to decision makers. We aim to use network meta-analysis to simultaneously evaluate the effectiveness of different interventions to increase prevalence of safe storage of i) Medicines only, ii) Other household products only, iii) Poisons (both medicines and non-medicines), iv) Poisonous plants; and v) Possession of poison control centre (PCC) telephone number in households with children.
Data on the effectiveness of poison prevention interventions was extracted from primary studies identified in 2 newly-undertaken systematic reviews. Effect estimates were pooled across studies using a random effects network meta-analysis model.
28 of the 47 primary studies identified were included in the analysis. Compared to usual care intervention, the intervention with education and low cost/free equipment elements was most effective in promoting safe storage of medicines (odds ratio 2.51, 95% credible interval 1.01 to 6.00) while interventions with education, low cost/free equipment, home safety inspection and fitting components were most effective in promoting safe storage of other household products (2.52, 1.12 to 7.13), safe storage of poisons (11.10, 1.60 to 141.50) and possession of PCC number (38.82, 2.19 to 687.10). No one intervention package was more effective than the others in promoting safe storage of poisonous plants.
The most effective interventions varied by poison prevention practice, but education alone was not the most effective intervention for any poison prevention practice. Commissioners and providers of poison prevention interventions should tailor the interventions they commission or provide to the poison prevention practices they wish to promote.
Network meta-analysis is useful for comparing multiple injury-prevention interventions.
More intensive poison prevention interventions were more effective than education alone.
Education and low cost/free equipment was most effective in promoting safe storage of medicines.
Education, low cost/free equipment, home safety inspection and fitting was most effective in promoting safe storage of household products and poisons.
Education, low cost/free equipment and home inspection were most effective in promoting possession of a poison control centre number.
None of the intervention packages was more effective than the others in promoting safe storage of poisonous plants.