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1.  Mothers’ perspectives on the delivery of childhood injury messages: a qualitative study from the growing up in Wales, environments for healthy living study (EHL) 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:806.
Childhood injury is the second leading cause of death for infants aged 1–5 years in the United Kingdom (UK) and most unintentional injuries occur in the home. We explored mothers’ knowledge and awareness of child injury prevention and sought to discover mothers’ views about the best method of designing interventions to deliver appropriate child safety messages to prevent injury in the home.
Qualitative study based on 21 semi-structured interviews with prospective mothers and mothers of young children. Mothers were selected according to neighbourhood deprivation status.
There was no difference in awareness of safety devices according to mothers’ deprivation status. Social networks were important in raising awareness and adherence to child safety advice. Mothers who were recent migrants had not always encountered safety messages or safety equipment commonly used in the UK. Mothers’ recommended that safety information should be basic and concise, and include both written and pictorial information and case studies focus on proactive preventive messages. Messages should be delivered both by mass media and suitably trained individuals and be timed to coincide with pregnancy and repeated at age appropriate stages of child development.
The findings suggest that timely childhood injury-related risk messages should be delivered during pregnancy and in line with developmental milestones of the child, through a range of sources including social networks, mass media, face-to-face advice from health professionals and other suitably trained mothers. In addition information on the safe use of home appliances around children and use of child safety equipment should be targeted specifically at those who have recently migrated to the United Kingdom.
PMCID: PMC3844439  PMID: 24007442
Childhood injury; Prevention; Message delivery; Neighbourhood deprivation; Migration; Health professional
2.  Correction: Constructing Compact Takagi-Sugeno Rule Systems: Identification of Complex Interactions in Epidemiological Data 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):10.1371/annotation/3724e791-2df4-4c75-8d60-4327fe0eb6d0.
PMCID: PMC3744645  PMID: 23976929
3.  Do Children Who Move Home and School Frequently Have Poorer Educational Outcomes in Their Early Years at School? An Anonymised Cohort Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e70601.
Frequent mobility has been linked to poorer educational attainment. We investigated the association between moving home and moving school frequently and the early childhood formal educational achievement. We carried out a cohort analysis of 121,422 children with anonymised linked records. Our exposure measures were: 1) the number of residential moves registered with a health care provider, and 2) number of school moves. Our outcome was the formal educational assessment at age 6–7. Binary regression modeling was used to examine residential moves within the three time periods: 0 – <1 year; 1 – <4 years and 4 – <6 years. School moves were examined from age 4 to age 6. We adjusted for demographics, residential moves at different times, school moves and birth related variables. Children who moved home frequently were more likely not to achieve in formal assessments compared with children not moving. Adjusted odds ratios were significant for 3 or more moves within the time period 1 –<4 years and for any number of residential moves within the time period 4–<6 years. There was a dose response relationship, with increased odds ratios with increased frequency of residential moves (2 or more moves at 4–<6 years, adjusted odds ratio 1.16 (1.03, 1.29). The most marked effect was seen with frequent school moves where 2 or more moves resulted in an adjusted odds ratio of 2.33 (1.82, 2.98). This is the first study to examine the relationship between residential and school moves in early childhood and the effect on educational attainment. Children experiencing frequent mobility may be disadvantaged and should be closely monitored. Additional educational support services should be afforded to children, particularly those who frequently change school, in order to help them achieve the expected educational standards.
PMCID: PMC3734306  PMID: 23940601
4.  The Advocacy for Pedestrian Safety Study: Cluster Randomised Trial Evaluating a Political Advocacy Approach to Reduce Pedestrian Injuries in Deprived Communities 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e60158.
To determine whether advocacy targeted at local politicians leads to action to reduce the risk of pedestrian injury in deprived areas.
Cluster randomised controlled trial.
239 electoral wards in 57 local authorities in England and Wales.
617 elected local politicians.
Intervention group politicians were provided with tailored information packs, including maps of casualty sites, numbers injured and a synopsis of effective interventions.
Main outcome measures
25–30 months post intervention, primary outcomes included: electoral ward level: percentage of road traffic calmed; proportion with new interventions; school level: percentage with 20 mph zones, Safe Routes to School, pedestrian training or road safety education; politician level: percentage lobbying for safety measures. Secondary outcomes included politicians’ interest and involvement in injury prevention, and facilitators and barriers to implementation.
Primary outcomes did not significantly differ: % difference in traffic calming (0.07, 95%CI: −0.07 to 0.20); proportion of schools with 20 mph zones (RR 1.47, 95%CI: 0.93 to 2.32), Safe Routes to School (RR 1.34, 95%CI: 0.83 to 2.17), pedestrian training (RR 1.23, 95%CI: 0.95 to 1.61) or other safety education (RR 1.16, 95%CI: 0.97 to 1.39). Intervention group politicians reported greater interest in child injury prevention (RR 1.09, 95%CI 1.03 to 1.16), belief in potential to help prevent injuries (RR 1.36, 95%CI 1.16 to 1.61), particularly pedestrian safety (RR 1.55, 95%CI 1.19 to 2.03). 63% of intervention politicians reported supporting new pedestrian safety schemes. The majority found the advocacy information surprising, interesting, effectively presented, and could identify suitable local interventions.
This study demonstrates the feasibility of an innovative approach to translational public health by targeting local politicians in a randomised controlled trial. The intervention package was positively viewed and raised interest but changes in interventions were not statistically significance. Longer term supported advocacy may be needed.
Trial Registration
Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN91381117
PMCID: PMC3620122  PMID: 23577088
5.  Making a successful return to work: the UK burden of injury multicentre longitudinal study 
Injuries are common and make a significant contribution to sickness absence, but little is known about problems experienced by injured people on return to work (RTW).
To quantify work problems on RTW and explore predictors of such problems.
Design & setting
Multicentre longitudinal study in four UK hospitals.
Prospective study of injured participants aged 16–65 years who were employed or self-employed prior to the injury and had RTW at 1 or 4 months post injury.
At 1 month, most (59%) had only made a partial RTW. By 4 months, 80% had fully RTW. Those who had partially RTW had problems related to physical tasks (work limited for median of 25% of time at 1 month, 18% at 4 months), time management (10% at 1 month, 20% at 4 months) and output demands (10% at 1 month, 15% at 4 months). Productivity losses were significantly greater among those with partial than full RTW at 1 month (median 3.3% versus 0.9%, P<0.001) and 4 months (median 4.6% versus 1.1% P = 0.03). Moderate/severe injuries (relative risk [RR] 1.93, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.35 to 2.77) and sports injuries (RR 1.73, 95% CI = 1.12 to 2.67) were associated with significantly greater productivity losses at 1 month while pre-existing long-term illnesses (RR 2.12, 95% CI = 1.38 to 3.27) and upper limb injuries (RR 1.64, 95% CI = 1.06 to 2.53) were at 4 months.
Injuries impact on successful RTW for at least 4 months. Those who have only partially RTW experience the most problems and GPs should pay particular attention to identifying work problems in this group and ways of minimising such problems.
PMCID: PMC3268498  PMID: 22520774
primary care; prospective studies; wounds and injuries; work
6.  Comparison of measures of comorbidity for predicting disability 12-months post-injury 
Understanding the factors that impact on disability is necessary to inform trauma care and enable adequate risk adjustment for benchmarking and monitoring. A key consideration is how to adjust for pre-existing conditions when assessing injury outcomes, and whether the inclusion of comorbidity is needed in addition to adjustment for age. This study compared different approaches to modelling the impact of comorbidity, collected as part of the routine hospital episode data, on disability outcomes following orthopaedic injury.
12-month Glasgow Outcome Scale – Extended (GOS-E) outcomes for 13,519 survivors to discharge were drawn from the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry, a prospective cohort study of admitted orthopaedic injury patients. ICD-10-AM comorbidity codes were mapped to four comorbidity indices. Cases with a GOS-E score of 7–8 were considered “recovered”. A split dataset approach was used with cases randomly assigned to development or test datasets. Logistic regression models were fitted with “recovery” as the outcome and the performance of the models based on each comorbidity index (adjusted for injury and age) measured using calibration (Hosmer-Lemshow (H-L) statistics and calibration curves) and discrimination (Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic (AUC)) statistics.
All comorbidity indices improved model fit over models with age and injuries sustained alone. None of the models demonstrated acceptable model calibration (H-L statistic p < 0.05 for all models). There was little difference between the discrimination of the indices for predicting recovery: Charlson Comorbidity Index (AUC 0.70, 95% CI: 0.68, 0.71); number of ICD-10 chapters represented (AUC 0.70, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.72); number of six frequent chronic conditions represented (AUC 0.70, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.71); and the Functional Comorbidity Index (AUC 0.69, 95% CI: 0.68, 0.71).
The presence of ICD-10 recorded comorbid conditions is an important predictor of long term functional outcome following orthopaedic injury and adjustment for comorbidity is indicated when assessing risk-adjusted functional outcomes over time or across jurisdictions.
PMCID: PMC3562274  PMID: 23351376
Orthopaedic injury; Comorbidity; Disability outcomes; Prediction
7.  A Platform for the Remote Conduct of Gene-Environment Interaction Studies 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54331.
Gene-environment interaction studies offer the prospect of robust causal inference through both gene identification and instrumental variable approaches. As such they are a major and much needed development. However, conducting these studies using traditional methods, which require direct participant contact, is resource intensive. The ability to conduct gene-environment interaction studies remotely would reduce costs and increase capacity.
To develop a platform for the remote conduct of gene-environment interaction studies.
A random sample of 15,000 men and women aged 50+ years and living in Cardiff, South Wales, of whom 6,012 were estimated to have internet connectivity, were mailed inviting them to visit a web-site to join a study of successful ageing. Online consent was obtained for questionnaire completion, cognitive testing, re-contact, record linkage and genotyping. Cognitive testing was conducted using the Cardiff Cognitive Battery. Bio-sampling was randomised to blood spot, buccal cell or no request.
A heterogeneous sample of 663 (4.5% of mailed sample and 11% of internet connected sample) men and women (47% female) aged 50–87 years (median = 61 yrs) from diverse backgrounds (representing the full range of deprivation scores) was recruited. Bio-samples were donated by 70% of those agreeing to do so. Self report questionnaires and cognitive tests showed comparable distributions to those collected using face-to-face methods. Record linkage was achieved for 99.9% of participants.
This study has demonstrated that remote methods are suitable for the conduct of gene-environment interaction studies. Up-scaling these methods provides the opportunity to increase capacity for large-scale gene-environment interaction studies.
PMCID: PMC3548886  PMID: 23349852
8.  Constructing Compact Takagi-Sugeno Rule Systems: Identification of Complex Interactions in Epidemiological Data 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51468.
The Takagi-Sugeno (TS) fuzzy rule system is a widely used data mining technique, and is of particular use in the identification of non-linear interactions between variables. However the number of rules increases dramatically when applied to high dimensional data sets (the curse of dimensionality). Few robust methods are available to identify important rules while removing redundant ones, and this results in limited applicability in fields such as epidemiology or bioinformatics where the interaction of many variables must be considered. Here, we develop a new parsimonious TS rule system. We propose three statistics: R, L, and ω-values, to rank the importance of each TS rule, and a forward selection procedure to construct a final model. We use our method to predict how key components of childhood deprivation combine to influence educational achievement outcome. We show that a parsimonious TS model can be constructed, based on a small subset of rules, that provides an accurate description of the relationship between deprivation indices and educational outcomes. The selected rules shed light on the synergistic relationships between the variables, and reveal that the effect of targeting specific domains of deprivation is crucially dependent on the state of the other domains. Policy decisions need to incorporate these interactions, and deprivation indices should not be considered in isolation. The TS rule system provides a basis for such decision making, and has wide applicability for the identification of non-linear interactions in complex biomedical data.
PMCID: PMC3522708  PMID: 23272108
9.  Support and assessment for fall emergency referrals (SAFER 2) research protocol: cluster randomised trial of the clinical and cost effectiveness of new protocols for emergency ambulance paramedics to assess and refer to appropriate community-based care 
BMJ Open  2012;2(6):e002169.
Emergency calls to ambulance services are frequent for older people who have fallen, but ambulance crews often leave patients at the scene without ongoing care. Evidence shows that when left at home with no further support older people often experience subsequent falls which result in injury and emergency-department attendances. SAFER 2 is an evaluation of a new clinical protocol which allows paramedics to assess and refer older people who have fallen, and do not need hospital care, to community-based falls services. In this protocol paper, we report methods and progress during trial implementation. SAFER 2 is recruiting patients through three ambulance services. A successful trial will provide robust evidence about the value of this new model of care, and enable ambulance services to use resources efficiently.
Pragmatic cluster randomised trial.
Methods and analysis
We randomly allocated 25 participating ambulance stations (clusters) in three services to intervention or control group. Intervention paramedics received training and clinical protocols for assessing and referring older people who have fallen to community-based falls services when appropriate, while control paramedics deliver care as usual. Patients are eligible for the trial if they are aged 65 or over; resident in a participating falls service catchment area; and attended by a trial paramedic following an emergency call coded as a fall without priority symptoms. The principal outcome is the rate of further emergency contacts (or death), for any cause and for falls. Secondary outcomes include further falls, health-related quality of life, ‘fear of falling’, patient satisfaction reported by participants through postal questionnaires at 1 and 6 months, and quality and pathways of care at the index incident. We shall compare National Health Service (NHS) and patient/carer costs between intervention and control groups and estimate quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) gained from the intervention and thus incremental cost per QALY. We shall estimate wider system effects on key-performance indicators. We shall interview 60 intervention patients, and conduct focus groups with contributing NHS staff to explore their experiences of the assessment and referral service. We shall analyse quantitative trial data by ‘treatment allocated’; and qualitative data using content analysis.
Ethics and dissemination
The Research Ethics Committee for Wales gave ethical approval and each participating centre gave NHS Research and Development approval. We shall disseminate study findings through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations.
Trial Registration: ISRCTN 60481756
PMCID: PMC3533098  PMID: 23148348
Accident & Emergency Medicine; Injury Prevention
10.  Getting back to work after injury: the UK Burden of Injury multicentre longitudinal study 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:584.
Injuries to working age adults are common and place a considerable burden on health services accounting for more than 10% of GP sick notes and 14% of those claiming benefits because they are unable to work in the UK. General practitioners (GPs) currently assess fitness to work and provide care and referral to other services to facilitate return to work (RTW). Recent UK recommendations suggest replacing GP sickness certification with independent assessments of fitness to work after four weeks sick leave. The impact of a wide range of injuries on RTW and subsequent need for independent fitness to work assessments has not been well studied in the UK. The aim of this study was to quantify RTW and factors predicting RTW following a wide range of injuries.
We used a multicentre longitudinal study, set in four acute NHS Trusts in the UK which recruited emergency department (ED) attenders and hospital admissions for injury and included those aged 16–65years that were employed or self-employed before the injury. Participants were followed up by postal questionnaire at 1, 4 and 12 months post injury to measure health status (EQ-5D), recovery, use of health and social services, time off work in the preceding month and work problems amongst those who had RTW. Multivariable Poisson regression with a robust variance estimator was used to estimate relative risks for factors associated with RTW.
One month after injury 35% of ED attenders had fully RTW. The self employed were more likely (RR 1.70, 95% CI 1.17 to 2.47 compared with employed) and the moderate/severely injured less likely to RTW (RR 0.48, 95% CI 0.32 to 0.72 compared with minor injuries). At four months, 83% of ED attenders had RTW and self employment and injury severity remained significant predictors of RTW (self employment RR 1.15, 95% CI 1.03 to 1.30; moderate/severe injury RR 0.79, 95% CI 0.68 to 0.92). At four months 57% of hospital admissions had RTW. Men were more likely than women to RTW (RR 1.94, 95% CI 1.34 to 2.82), whilst those injured at work (RR 0.49, 95% CI 0.27 to 0.87 compared with at home) and those living in deprived areas (most deprived tertile RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.85 and middle tertile RR 0.61, 95% CI 0.40 to 0.93) were less likely to RTW. Health status was significantly poorer at one and four months after injury than before the injury and was significantly poorer amongst those that had not RTW compared to those that had. Problems with pain control, undertaking usual activities, mobility and anxiety and depression were common and persisted in a considerable proportion of participants up to four months post injury.
Injuries have a large impact on time off work, including amongst those whose injuries did not warrant hospital admission. The majority of injured people would require an in-depth fitness for work assessment if recent UK recommendations are implemented. Many people will have on-going pain, mobility problems, anxiety and depression at the point of assessment and it is important that patients are encouraged to use primary care services to address these problems. A range of factors may be useful for identifying those at risk of a slower recovery and a delayed RTW so that appropriate interventions can be provided to this group.
PMCID: PMC3444403  PMID: 22853715
11.  The feasibility of collecting information from people with Multiple Sclerosis for the UK MS Register via a web portal: characterising a cohort of people with MS 
A UK Register of people with Multiple Sclerosis has been developed to address the need for an increased knowledge-base about MS. The Register is being populated via: a web-based portal; NHS neurology clinical systems; and administrative data sources. The data are de-identified and linked at the individual level. At the outset, it was not known whether people with MS would wish to participate in the UK MS Register by personally contributing their data to the Register via a web-based system. Therefore, the research aim of this work was to build an internet-mounted recruitment and consenting technology for people with Multiple Sclerosis, and to assess its feasibility as a questionnaire delivery platform to contribute data to the UK MS Register, by determining whether the information provided could be used to describe a cohort of people with MS.
The web portal was developed using and JQuery with a Microsoft SQL 2008 database. UK adults with MS can self-register and enter data about themselves by completing validated questionnaires. Descriptive statistics were used to characterise the respondents.
The web portal was launched in May 2011, and in first three months 7,279 individuals registered on the portal. The ratio of men to women was 1:2.4 (n = 5,899), the mean self-reported age at first symptoms was 33.8 (SD 10.5) years, and at diagnosis 39.6 (SD 10.3) years (n = 4,401). The reported types of MS were: 15% primary progressive, 63% relapsing-remitting, 8% secondary progressive, and 14% unknown (n = 5,400). These characteristics are similar to those of the prevalent MS population. Employment rates, sickness/disability rates, ethnicity and educational qualifications were compared with the general UK population. Information about the respondents’ experience of early symptoms and the process of diagnosis, plus living arrangements are also reported.
These initial findings from the MS Register portal demonstrate the feasibility of collecting data about people with MS via a web platform, and show that sufficient information can be gathered to characterise a cohort of people with MS. The innovative design of the UK MS register, bringing together three disparate sources of data, is creating a rich resource for research into this condition.
PMCID: PMC3444329  PMID: 22809360
Multiple Sclerosis; Disease register; Data linkage
12.  Change in alcohol outlet density and alcohol-related harm to population health (CHALICE) 
BMC Public Health  2012;12:428.
Excess alcohol consumption has serious adverse effects on health and violence-related harm. In the UK around 37% of men and 29% of women drink to excess and 20% and 13% report binge drinking. The potential impact on population health from a reduction in consumption is considerable. One proposed method to reduce consumption is to reduce availability through controls on alcohol outlet density. In this study we investigate the impact of a change in the density of alcohol outlets on alcohol consumption and alcohol-related harms to health in the community.
A natural experiment of the effect of change in outlet density between 2005–09, in Wales, UK; population 2.4 million aged 16 years and over. Data on outlets are held by the 22 local authorities in Wales under The Licensing Act 2003.
The study outcomes are change in (1) alcohol consumption using data from annual Welsh Health Surveys, (2) alcohol-related hospital admissions using the Patient Episode Database for Wales, (3) Accident & Emergency department attendances between midnight–6am, and (4) alcohol-related violent crime against the person, using Police data.
The data will be anonymously record-linked within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage Databank at individual and 2001 Census Lower Super Output Area levels. New methods of network analysis will be used to estimate outlet density. Longitudinal statistical analysis will use (1) multilevel ordinal models of consumption and logistic models of admissions and Accident & Emergency attendance as a function of change in individual outlet exposure, adjusting for confounding variables, and (2) spatial models of the change in counts/rates of each outcome measure and outlet density. We will assess the impact on health inequalities and will correct for population migration.
This inter-disciplinary study requires expertise in epidemiology and public health, health informatics, medical statistics, geographical information science, and research into alcohol-related violence. Information governance requirements for the use of record-linked data have been approved together with formal data access agreements for the use of the Welsh Health Survey and Police data.
The dissemination strategy will include policy makers in national and local government. Public engagement will be through the Clinical Research Collaboration-Cymru "Involving People" network, which will provide input into the implementation of the research.
PMCID: PMC3409073  PMID: 22691534
Alcohol; Outlet density; Alcohol-related harm; Anonymised record-linkage; Multilevel analysis; Spatial analysis
14.  The health informatics cohort enhancement project (HICE): using routinely collected primary care data to identify people with a lifetime diagnosis of psychotic disorder 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:95.
We have previously demonstrated that routinely collected primary care data can be used to identify potential participants for trials in depression [1]. Here we demonstrate how patients with psychotic disorders can be identified from primary care records for potential inclusion in a cohort study. We discuss the strengths and limitations of this approach; assess its potential value and report challenges encountered.
We designed an algorithm with which we searched for patients with a lifetime diagnosis of psychotic disorders within the Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) database of routinely collected health data. The algorithm was validated against the "gold standard" of a well established operational criteria checklist for psychotic and affective illness (OPCRIT). Case notes of 100 patients from a community mental health team (CMHT) in Swansea were studied of whom 80 had matched GP records.
The algorithm had favourable test characteristics, with a very good ability to detect patients with psychotic disorders (sensitivity > 0.7) and an excellent ability not to falsely identify patients with psychotic disorders (specificity > 0.9).
With certain limitations our algorithm can be used to search the general practice data and reliably identify patients with psychotic disorders. This may be useful in identifying candidates for potential inclusion in cohort studies.
PMCID: PMC3296666  PMID: 22333117
15.  Measuring the Population Burden of Injuries—Implications for Global and National Estimates: A Multi-centre Prospective UK Longitudinal Study 
PLoS Medicine  2011;8(12):e1001140.
Ronan Lyons and colleagues compared the population burden of injuries using different approaches from the UK Burden of Injury and Global Burden of Disease studies and find that the absolute UK burden of injury is higher than previously estimated.
Current methods of measuring the population burden of injuries rely on many assumptions and limited data available to the global burden of diseases (GBD) studies. The aim of this study was to compare the population burden of injuries using different approaches from the UK Burden of Injury (UKBOI) and GBD studies.
Methods and Findings
The UKBOI was a prospective cohort of 1,517 injured individuals that collected patient-reported outcomes. Extrapolated outcome data were combined with multiple sources of morbidity and mortality data to derive population metrics of the burden of injury in the UK. Participants were injured patients recruited from hospitals in four UK cities and towns: Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, and Guildford, between September 2005 and April 2007. Patient-reported changes in quality of life using the EQ-5D at baseline, 1, 4, and 12 months after injury provided disability weights used to calculate the years lived with disability (YLDs) component of disability adjusted life years (DALYs). DALYs were calculated for the UK and extrapolated to global estimates using both UKBOI and GBD disability weights. Estimated numbers (and rates per 100,000) for UK population extrapolations were 750,999 (1,240) for hospital admissions, 7,982,947 (13,339) for emergency department (ED) attendances, and 22,185 (36.8) for injury-related deaths in 2005. Nonadmitted ED-treated injuries accounted for 67% of YLDs. Estimates for UK DALYs amounted to 1,771,486 (82% due to YLDs), compared with 669,822 (52% due to YLDs) using the GBD approach. Extrapolating patient-derived disability weights to GBD estimates would increase injury-related DALYs 2.6-fold.
The use of disability weights derived from patient experiences combined with additional morbidity data on ED-treated patients and inpatients suggests that the absolute burden of injury is higher than previously estimated. These findings have substantial implications for improving measurement of the national and global burden of injury.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Injuries—resulting from traffic collisions, drowning, poisoning, falls or burns, and violence from assault, self-inflicted violence, or acts of war—kill more than 5 million people worldwide every year and cause harm to millions more. Injuries account for at least 9% of global mortality and are a threat to health in every country of the world. Furthermore, for every death-related injury, dozens of injured people are admitted to hospitals, hundreds visit emergency rooms, and thousands go to see their doctors by appointment. A large proportion of people surviving their injuries will be left with temporary or permanent disabilities.
The Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) Studies are instrumental in quantifying the burden of injuries placed on society and are essential for the public health response, priority setting, and policy development. Central to the GBD methodology is the concept of Disability Adjusted Life years (DALYs), and a combination of premature mortality, referred to as years of life lost and years lived with disability. However, rather than evidence and measurements, the GBD Study used panel studies and expert opinion to estimate weights and durations of disability. Therefore, although the GBD has been a major development, it may have underestimated the population burden.
Why Was This Study Done?
Accurate measurement of the burden of injuries is essential to ensure adequate policy responses to prevention and treatment. In this study, the researchers aimed to overcome the limitations of previous studies and for the first time, measured the population burden of injuries in the UK using a combination of disability and morbidity metrics, including years of life lost, and years lived with disabilities.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers recruited patients aged over 5 years with a wide range of injuries (including fractures and dislocations, lacerations, bruises and abrasions, sprains, burns and scalds, and head, eye, thorax, and abdominal injuries) from hospitals in four English cities—Swansea, Nottingham, Bristol, and Guildford—between September 2005 and April 2007. The researchers collected data on injury-related mortality, hospital admissions, and attendances to emergency rooms. They also invited patients (or their proxy, if participants were young children) to complete a self-administered questionnaire at recruitment and at 1, 4, and 12 months postinjury to allow data collection on injury characteristics, use of health and social services, time off work, and recovery from injury, in addition to sociodemographic and economic and occupational characteristics. The researchers also used standardized tools to measure health-related quality of life and work problems. Then, the researchers used these patient-reported changes to calculate DALYs for the UK and then extrapolated these results to calculate global estimates.
In the four study sites, a total of 1,517 injured people (median age of 37.4 years and 53.9% male) participated in the study. The researchers found that the vast majority of injuries were unintentional and that the home was the most frequent location of injury. Using the data and information collected from the questionnaires, the researchers extrapolated their results and found that in 2005, there were an estimated 750,999 injury-related hospital admissions, 7,982,947 emergency room attendances, and 22,185 injury-related deaths, translating to a rate per 100,000 of 1,240, 13,339, and 36.8, respectively. The researchers estimated UK DALYs related to injury to be 1,771,486 compared with 669,822 using the GBD approach. Furthermore, the researchers found that extrapolating patient-derived disability weights to GBD estimates would increase injury-related DALYs 2.6-fold.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings of this study suggest that, when using data and information derived from patient experiences, combined with additional morbidity data on patients treated in emergency rooms and those, admitted to hospital, the absolute burden of injury is higher than previously estimated. While this study was carried out in the UK the principal findings are relevant to other countries. However, measurement of the population burden of injuries requires access to high quality data, which may be difficult in less affluent countries, and these data rely on access to health facilities, which is often restricted in resource-limited settings. Despite these concerns, these findings have substantial implications for improving measurements of the national and global burden of injury.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The World Health Organization website provides detailed information about injuries and also details the work of the Global Burden of Disease Study
The Global Burden of Injury's website is a portal to websites run by groups conducting ongoing research into the measurement of global injury metrics
PMCID: PMC3232198  PMID: 22162954
16.  Modelling Long Term Disability following Injury: Comparison of Three Approaches for Handling Multiple Injuries 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(9):e25862.
Injury is a leading cause of the global burden of disease (GBD). Estimates of non-fatal injury burden have been limited by a paucity of empirical outcomes data. This study aimed to (i) establish the 12-month disability associated with each GBD 2010 injury health state, and (ii) compare approaches to modelling the impact of multiple injury health states on disability as measured by the Glasgow Outcome Scale – Extended (GOS-E).
12-month functional outcomes for 11,337 survivors to hospital discharge were drawn from the Victorian State Trauma Registry and the Victorian Orthopaedic Trauma Outcomes Registry. ICD-10 diagnosis codes were mapped to the GBD 2010 injury health states. Cases with a GOS-E score >6 were defined as “recovered.” A split dataset approach was used. Cases were randomly assigned to development or test datasets. Probability of recovery for each health state was calculated using the development dataset. Three logistic regression models were evaluated: a) additive, multivariable; b) “worst injury;” and c) multiplicative. Models were adjusted for age and comorbidity and investigated for discrimination and calibration.
A single injury health state was recorded for 46% of cases (1–16 health states per case). The additive (C-statistic 0.70, 95% CI: 0.69, 0.71) and “worst injury” (C-statistic 0.70; 95% CI: 0.68, 0.71) models demonstrated higher discrimination than the multiplicative (C-statistic 0.68; 95% CI: 0.67, 0.70) model. The additive and “worst injury” models demonstrated acceptable calibration.
The majority of patients survived with persisting disability at 12-months, highlighting the importance of improving estimates of non-fatal injury burden. Additive and “worst” injury models performed similarly. GBD 2010 injury states were moderately predictive of recovery 1-year post-injury. Further evaluation using additional measures of health status and functioning and comparison with the GBD 2010 disability weights will be needed to optimise injury states for future GBD studies.
PMCID: PMC3184172  PMID: 21984951
17.  Comparison of Mortality Following Hospitalisation for Isolated Head Injury in England and Wales, and Victoria, Australia 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e20545.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains a leading cause of death and disability. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines recommend transfer of severe TBI cases to neurosurgical centres, irrespective of the need for neurosurgery. This observational study investigated the risk-adjusted mortality of isolated TBI admissions in England/Wales, and Victoria, Australia, and the impact of neurosurgical centre management on outcomes.
Isolated TBI admissions (>15 years, July 2005–June 2006) were extracted from the hospital discharge datasets for both jurisdictions. Severe isolated TBI (AIS severity >3) admissions were provided by the Trauma Audit and Research Network (TARN) and Victorian State Trauma Registry (VSTR) for England/Wales, and Victoria, respectively. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare risk-adjusted mortality between jurisdictions.
Mortality was 12% (749/6256) in England/Wales and 9% (91/1048) in Victoria for isolated TBI admissions. Adjusted odds of death in England/Wales were higher compared to Victoria overall (OR 2.0, 95% CI: 1.6, 2.5), and for cases <65 years (OR 2.36, 95% CI: 1.51, 3.69). For severe TBI, mortality was 23% (133/575) for TARN and 20% (68/346) for VSTR, with 72% of TARN and 86% of VSTR cases managed at a neurosurgical centre. The adjusted mortality odds for severe TBI cases in TARN were higher compared to the VSTR (OR 1.45, 95% CI: 0.96, 2.19), but particularly for cases <65 years (OR 2.04, 95% CI: 1.07, 3.90). Neurosurgical centre management modified the effect overall (OR 1.12, 95% CI: 0.73, 1.74) and for cases <65 years (OR 1.53, 95% CI: 0.77, 3.03).
The risk-adjusted odds of mortality for all isolated TBI admissions, and severe TBI cases, were higher in England/Wales when compared to Victoria. The lower percentage of cases managed at neurosurgical centres in England and Wales was an explanatory factor, supporting the changes made to the NICE guidelines.
PMCID: PMC3105093  PMID: 21655237
18.  Parental factors associated with walking to school and participation in organised activities at age 5: Analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study 
BMC Public Health  2011;11:14.
Physical activity is associated with better health. Two sources of activity for children are walking to school and taking part in organised sports and activities. This study uses a large national cohort to examine factors associated with participation in these activities.
The Millennium Cohort study contains 5 year follow-up of 17,561 singleton children recruited between 2000-2002 in the UK. All participants were interviewed in their own homes at 9 months, 3 years and 5 years follow-up and all measures were self reports. Logistic regression and likelihood ratio tests were used.
Children are less likely to walk to school as income and parental education increase [Adjusted odds: 0.7 (95%CI: 0.6-0.8) for higher income/education compared to low income/no qualifications]. However, if the parent plays with the child in high income families the child is more likely to walk to school [Adjusted odds: 1.67 (95%CI: 1.3-2.1)]. Children taking part in organised activities are from higher income, higher education families, with a car, in a "good" area with non-working mothers. However, in low socio-economic families where the parent plays with the child the child is more likely to take part in organised activities [Adjusted odds: 2.0 (95% CI: 1.5-2.7)].
Income is an important determinant of the type of activity available to children. Families that report good health behaviours (non-smoking, low TV viewing) and play with their children show higher levels of physical activity. Thus, parenting practice appears to have a strong impact on their child's physical activity.
PMCID: PMC3027134  PMID: 21210998
19.  A systematic review of studies measuring health-related quality of life of general injury populations 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:783.
It is important to obtain greater insight into health-related quality of life (HRQL) of injury patients in order to document people's pathways to recovery and to quantify the impact of injury on population health over time. We performed a systematic review of studies measuring HRQL in general injury populations with a generic health state measure to summarize existing knowledge.
Injury studies (1995-2009) were identified with main inclusion criteria being the use of a generic health status measure and not being restricted to one specific type of injury. Articles were collated by study design, HRQL instrument used, timing of assessment(s), predictive variables and ability to detect change over time.
Forty one studies met inclusion criteria, using 24 different generic HRQL and functional status measures (most used were SF-36, FIM, GOS, EQ-5D). The majority of the studies used a longitudinal design, but with different lengths and timings of follow-up (mostly 6, 12, and 24 months). Different generic health measures were able to discriminate between the health status of subgroups and picked up changes in health status between discharge and 12 month follow-up. Most studies reported high prevalences of health problems within the first year after injury. The twelve studies that reported HRQL utility scores showed considerable but incomplete recovery in the first year after discharge.
This systematic review demonstrates large variation in use of HRQL instruments, study populations, and assessment time points used in studies measuring HRQL of general injury populations. This variability impedes comparison of HRQL summary scores between studies and prevented formal meta-analyses aiming to quantify and improve precision of the impact of injury on population health over time.
PMCID: PMC3019196  PMID: 21182775
20.  Protocol for a population-based Ankylosing Spondylitis (PAS) cohort in Wales 
To develop a population-based cohort of people with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in Wales using (1) secondary care clinical datasets, (2) patient-derived questionnaire data and (3) routinely-collected information in order to examine disease history and the health economic cost of AS.
This data model will include and link (1) secondary care clinician datasets (i.e. electronic patient notes from the rheumatologist) (2) patient completed questionnaires (giving information on disease activity, medication, function, quality of life, work limitations and health service utilisation) and (3) a broad range of routinely collected data (including; GP records, in-patient hospital admission data, emergency department data, laboratory/pathology data and social services databases). The protocol involves the use of a unique and powerful data linkage system which allows datasets to be interlinked and to complement each other.
This cohort can integrate patient supplied, primary and secondary care data into a unified data model. This can be used to study a range of issues such as; the true economic costs to the health care system and the patient, factors associated with the development of severe disease, long term adverse events of new and existing medication and to understand the disease history of this condition. It will benefit patients, clinicians and health care managers. This study forms a pilot project for the use of routine data/patient data linked cohorts for other chronic conditions.
PMCID: PMC2941484  PMID: 20809952
21.  Population based absolute and relative survival to 1 year of people with diabetes following a myocardial infarction: A cohort study using hospital admissions data 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:338.
People with diabetes who experience an acute myocardial infarction (AMI) have a higher risk of death and recurrence of AMI. This study was commissioned by the Department for Transport to develop survival tables for people with diabetes following an AMI in order to inform vehicle licensing.
A cohort study using data obtained from national hospital admission datasets for England and Wales was carried out selecting all patients attending hospital with an MI for 2003-2006 (inclusion criteria: aged 30+ years, hospital admission for MI (defined using ICD 10 code I21-I22). STATA was used to create survival tables and factors associated with survival were examined using Cox regression.
Of 157,142 people with an MI in England and Wales between 2003-2006, the relative risk of death or recurrence of MI for those with diabetes (n = 30,407) in the first 90 days was 1.3 (95%CI: 1.26-1.33) crude rates and 1.16 (95%CI: 1.1-1.2) when controlling for age, gender, heart failure and surgery for MI) compared with those without diabetes (n = 129,960). At 91-365 days post AMI the risk was 1.7 (95% CI 1.6-1.8) crude and 1.50 (95%CI: 1.4-1.6) adjusted. The relative risk of death or re-infarction was higher at younger ages for those with diabetes and directly after the AMI (Relative risk; RR: 62.1 for those with diabetes and 28.2 for those without diabetes aged 40-49 [compared with population risk]).
This is the first study to provide population based tables of age stratified risk of re-infarction or death for people with diabetes compared with those without diabetes. These tables can be used for giving advice to patients, developing a baseline to compare intervention studies or developing license or health insurance guidelines.
PMCID: PMC2894776  PMID: 20546579
22.  Symptomatology attributable to psychological exposure to a chemical incident: a natural experiment 
Exposure to a complex emergency has a substantial psychological component, which is rarely assessed. This study compares the health impact of physically and psychologically mediated exposure to a complex emergency.
The Sea Empress oil tanker spill.
A cross‐sectional analysis of self‐report questionnaire responses collected from inhabitants of 6 different coastal towns—4 of them physically exposed to the oil spill, 2 unexposed—was undertaken. The towns were known to be psychologically homogeneous before the incident. Perceived risk was used as a measure of psychological exposure. Anxiety, depression and symptom reporting were used as measures of health impact.
1089 (69%) men and women aged 18–65 years responded.
Main results
Perceived risk was associated with raised anxiety and non‐toxicologically related symptom reporting, whereas physical exposure to oil was only associated with toxicologically related symptom reporting. The impact of raised perceived risk on the population was greater than that of physical oil exposure, involving more persons over a wider area.
Psychological exposure was shown to be quantifiable, and to be a substantially more sensitive measure of health impact than physical exposure in relation to psychological outcomes. This type of analysis has important implications for emergency response planning, and for the interpretation of a complex emergency by the general public.
PMCID: PMC2465723  PMID: 17496259
23.  The Health Informatics Trial Enhancement Project (HITE): Using routinely collected primary care data to identify potential participants for a depression trial 
Trials  2010;11:39.
Recruitment to clinical trials can be challenging. We identified anonymous potential participants to an existing pragmatic randomised controlled depression trial to assess the feasibility of using routinely collected data to identify potential trial participants. We discuss the strengths and limitations of this approach, assess its potential value, report challenges and ethical issues encountered.
Swansea University's Health Information Research Unit's Secure Anonymised Information Linkage (SAIL) database of routinely collected health records was interrogated, using Structured Query Language (SQL). Read codes were used to create an algorithm of inclusion/exclusion criteria with which to identify suitable anonymous participants. Two independent clinicians rated the eligibility of the potential participants' identified. Inter-rater reliability was assessed using the kappa statistic and inter-class correlation.
The study population (N = 37263) comprised all adults registered at five general practices in Swansea UK. Using the algorithm 867 anonymous potential participants were identified. The sensitivity and specificity results > 0.9 suggested a high degree of accuracy from the algorithm. The inter-rater reliability results indicated strong agreement between the confirming raters. The Intra Class Correlation Coefficient (Cronbach's Alpha) > 0.9, suggested excellent agreement and Kappa coefficient > 0.8; almost perfect agreement.
This proof of concept study showed that routinely collected primary care data can be used to identify potential participants for a pragmatic randomised controlled trial of folate augmentation of antidepressant therapy for the treatment of depression. Further work will be needed to assess generalisability to other conditions and settings and the inclusion of this approach to support Electronic Enhanced Recruitment (EER).
PMCID: PMC2864261  PMID: 20398303
24.  Recruiting participants for injury studies in emergency departments 
Injury Prevention  2007;13(2):75-77.
Emergency departments have the potential to maximize recruitment efficiency and minimize recruiting costs
PMCID: PMC2610591  PMID: 17446244
25.  Protocol of the baseline assessment for the Environments for Healthy Living (EHL) Wales cohort study 
BMC Public Health  2010;10:150.
Health is a result of influences operating at multiple levels. For example, inadequate housing, poor educational attainment, and reduced access to health care are clustered together, and are all associated with reduced health. Policies which try to change individual people's behaviour have limited effect when people have little control over their environment. However, structural environmental change and an understanding of the way that influences interact with each other, has the potential to facilitate healthy choices irrespective of personal resources. The aim of Environments for Healthy Living (EHL) is to investigate the impact of gestational and postnatal environments on health, and to examine where structural change can be brought about to optimise health outcomes. The baseline assessment will focus on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health.
EHL is a longitudinal birth cohort study. We aim to recruit 1000 pregnant women in the period April 2010 to March 2013. We will examine the impact of the gestational environment (maternal health) and the postnatal environment (housing and neighbourhood conditions) on subsequent health outcomes for the infants born to these women. Data collection will commence during the participants' pregnancy, from approximately 20 weeks gestation. Participants will complete a questionnaire, undergo anthropometric measurements, wear an accelerometer, compile a food diary, and have environmental measures taken within their home. They will also be asked to consent to having a sample of umbilical cord blood taken following delivery of their baby. These data will be complemented by routinely collected electronic data such as health records from GP surgeries, hospital admissions, and child health and development records. Thereafter, participants will be visited annually for follow-up of subsequent exposures and child health outcomes.
The baseline assessment of EHL will provide information concerning the impact of gestational and postnatal environments on birth outcomes and maternal and infant health. The findings can be used to inform the development of complex interventions targeted at structural, environmental factors, intended to reduce ill-health. Long-term follow-up of the cohort will focus on relationships between environmental exposures and the later development of adverse health outcomes, including obesity and diabetes.
PMCID: PMC2850344  PMID: 20331860

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