Rapid assessment procedures in injury control
Injuries are among the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. The burden caused by injuries is even greater among the poorer nations and is projected to increase. Very often the lack of technical and financial resources, as well as the urgency of the problem, preclude applying sophisticated surveillance and research methods for generating relevant information to develop effective interventions. In these settings, it is necessary to consider more rapid and less costly methods in applying the public health approach to the problem of injury prevention and control. Rapid Assessment Procedures (RAP), developed within the fields of epidemiology, anthropology and health administration, can provide valid information in a manner that is quicker, simpler, and less costly than standard data collection methods. RAP have been applied widely and successfully to infectious and chronic disease issues, but have not been used extensively, if at all, as tools in injury control. This paper describes Rapid Assessment Procedures that (1) are useful for understanding the scope of the problem and for identifying potential risk factors, (2) can assist practitioners in determining intervention priorities, (3) can provide in-depth knowledge about a specific injury-related problem, and (4) can be used in surveillance systems to monitor outcomes. Finally, the paper describes some of the caveats in using RAP.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2004-01-01