Preventing Injuries in the U.S. Military: The Process, Priorities, and Epidemiologic Evidence
ARMY CENTER FOR HEALTH PROMOTION AND PREVENTIVE MEDICINE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Injuries are the biggest health problem confronting U.S. military forces in peacetime and combat operations, resulting in over 1.8 million medical encounters annually across the Services and affecting more than 800,000 individual Service members. Not only are injuries the biggest health problem of the Services, but they are also a complex problem. The leading causes of deaths are different from those that result in hospitalization, which are different from those that result in outpatient care. As a consequence, it is not possible to focus on just one level of injury severity if the impact of injuries on military personnel is to be reduced. To effectively reduce the impact of a problem as big and complex as injuries requires a systematic approach. The purpose of this summary is to introduce the concepts behind a systematic approach to injury prevention. Specifically, the following will be presented 1 the steps of the public health approach to injury prevention, 2 relevant literature on the evidence-based process for systematic evaluation of the scientific quality and consistency of information needed to make decisions to implement injury prevention policies, programs and interventions, and 3 criteria for setting objective injury prevention priorities. The review of these topics will serve as a foundation for making recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of injury prevention efforts in the military.
- Medicine and Medical Research