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Evaluation of a New Zealand indigenous community injury prevention project

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Objective: To evaluate the Turanganui-a-kiwa Community Injury Prevention Project, based in a provincial town on the North Island of New Zealand with an extensive indigenous population (Maori). Method: The evaluation design was quasi-experimental and included process, impact and outcome measures. Results: Process evaluation findings indicated that adopting an holistic lifespan approach to injury prevention was successful in this Maori community. The three main areas of activities were: child road safety; safer alcohol use in the roading, sporting and home environments for young people and adults; and fire safety for older people. Significant increases in awareness of injury prevention initiatives were found among Turanganui-a-kiwa whanau (families) (p < 0.001). A large increase in the take-up of car restraints among Maori young children was demonstrated (pre 10%, post 74%). The safe alcohol dual message approach also resulted in significant increases in the number of respondents wearing protective equipment for sports (p < 0.05). The result of the fire safety initiative was that 120 kaumatua homes now have correctly installed smoke alarms and there is now a commitment from the Fire Service to maintain these alarms. Outcome evaluation findings showed that there was a significant decrease in hospitalization injury rates across the lifespan in Turanganui-a-kiwa (p < 0.05). Conclusion: Despite the challenges associated with conducting community injury prevention projects the conduct of this evaluation provides previously unknown information on an indigenous (Maori) injury prevention programme. The success of the programme would appear to be that the project was perceived as an intervention for Maori operating within a Maori framework which addressed Maori aspirations. Implications: As so little is known about injury prevention initiatives in indigenous populations, the findings presented in this article will provide important information for the future development of other indigenous injury prevention programmes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-06-01

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