Course: Confronting the Burden of Injuries

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Course Description

Provides an understanding of approaches to measuring the burden of injuries around the world and familiarizes students with current estimates of the burden of injuries in the global and developing world. Develops basic skills for assessment of injury epidemiology. Provides an appreciation of how to use these measures for planning interventions for injury prevention and creates awareness of the economic implications of injuries in the developing world. Promotes effective use of data for appropriate policy analysis for reduction of injury burden.

The course covers the following topics:

  • Module 1 introduces the course and its goals, discusses course logistics, reviews injury prevention concepts, and presents the need for implementation of injury prevention interventions throughout the world.
  • Module 2 describes methods for assessing the magnitude of the injury problem in terms of mortality, morbidity, disability, costs, and exposure.
  • Module 3 presents case studies in greater detail through a series of complimentary lectures.
  • Module 4 explains how injury prevention interventions are selected, implemented, enforced, and evaluated. Also highlighted in this module are methodological issues related to evaluation.
  • Module 5 examines the state of emergency services and trauma systems around the world and presents essential features of a responsive acute care system for injuries.
  • Module 6 discusses complementary aspects of injury prevention, including alcohol.

Course Objectives

Upon successfully completing this course, students are able to:

  • Identify the current estimates of the burden of injuries globally
  • Describe approaches to measuring the burden of injuries, including costs
  • Assess the magnitude of the problem and evaluate the current/potential interventions
  • Use data for policy development and provide tools to conduct policy analysis for reduction of injury burden

Course Requirements


Reading assignments: Students read the assigned articles posted on the Readings page prior to each lecture.

Lectures: Students complete all lectures during the term.

Optional self-study surveys: Online self-study surveys are available at the end of most lectures to help review key themes. Completion of self-study surveys is optional.

Assignment: The best way to evaluate whether students have achieved the course goals is to have students develop an argument for an injury prevention program. Students work on different sections of the assignment throughout the course.

BBS and LiveTalks

Students are placed in groups based on their backgrounds. Each group is assigned an article for which they post an online discussion and then lead a 10-15 minute discussion during a subsequent LiveTalk. The BBS discussion should be posted three days before the scheduled LiveTalk so that others can read it in preparation for the LiveTalk discussions.

BBS and LiveTalk Presentations

The following guideline for your presentation is suggested:

  • General scope of paper and key objectives of paper (1 slide)
  • Methodologies used (1 slide) - Were they appropriate?
  • Results/major findings (1 slide) - brief summary highlighting important findings
  • Limitations (1 slide) - What were the potential flaws? What could have been done better?
  • Group thoughts on Implications for injury prevention and control / policy implications? (1 slide)

Grading Policy

Final course evaluation will be based on the following components:

  • Assignment Part 1 (40%)
  • Assignment Part 2 (10%)
  • Assignment Part 3 (40%)
  • Participation in Bulletin Board (BBS) discussions and LiveTalks (10%)

NOTE: Final grades will not be based solely on the grades of individual assignments; a student's improvement (or decline) during the course and comparison of individual students with the entire class will also be important determinants.