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Research Spotlight: Injury prevention professionals are more accident-prone than other Canadians

Oct 22, 2013 |

Mariana Brussoni, Assistant Professor at SPPH, explains a recent study that indicates Canadian injury prevention professionals are more likely to sustain injuries compared to other Canadians without their specialized knowledge.

What were you expecting to find?
Despite our training, we had a hunch that our profession might be more prone to injury. This is contradictory to theories, such as the Theory of Planned Behaviour, that would suggest having knowledge about how to prevent injuries and being surrounded by people who value injury prevention would lead to being safer.

Dr. Mariana Brussoni

Dr. Mariana Brussoni

What did the study indicate?
When compared with Canadians of similar age, educational background, and employment status, injury prevention professionals were found to be at almost 70 per cent greater risk of injury.

Was there any particular reason you decided to investigate the injuries of injury prevention professionals?
We noticed that an awful lot of our colleagues were showing up at conferences in casts or with other types of injuries. We also thought that learning more about why there was a greater risk would help us figure out what might be a better approach for talking to the general public about safety.

What has been the reaction of the injury prevention community?
First reaction is generally, disbelief. Then, for some, an acknowledgement that maybe we are too complacent in our understanding of safety.

The study, “‘Do As We Say, Not as We Do:’ a cross-sectional survey of injuries in injury prevention professionals” was authored by Allison Ezzat, Mariana Brussoni, Amy Schneeberg (of UBC School of Population and Public Health) and Sarah J Jones (of Cardiff University/Public Health Wales) and was published first online in Injury Prevention on September 23, 2013.

by Sonia Renger