UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The association of material deprivation component measures with injury hospital separations in British Columbia, Canada Rajabali, Fahra; Zheng, Alex; Turcotte, Kate; Zhang, Li R.; Kao, Diana; Rasali, Drona; Oakey, Megan; Pike, Ian


Background: This study examines social disparities across neighbourhood levels of income, education and employment in relation to overall injury hospital separations in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Further, the study examines the relationships of social disparities to a set of three injury prevention priorities in British Columbia, namely, transport (motor vehicle occupant, pedestrian and cyclist), falls among older adults, and youth self-harm. The goal being to better understand area-based injury incidence with a view to precision prevention initiatives, particularly for more vulnerable populations. Methods: Acute hospital separations from the Discharge Abstract Database were identified for all causes of injury and the three BC injury prevention priorities for the period April 1, 2009 to March 31, 2014, inclusive. An ecological approach was applied where each hospital separation case was attributed with the income, education and employment level according to the injured individual’s area of residence, derived from the 2011 CensusPlus data. Results: Injury hospital separation data were available for 191 Forward Sortation Areas in BC. Between April 1, 2009 and March 31, 2014, there was a total of 177,861 injury-related hospital separations, averaging 35,572 hospital separations per year and an annual rate of 779 injury hospital separations per 100,000 population. Injury hospital separation rates varied with the measured neighbourhood area socioeconomic status variables. Injury hospital separation rates demonstrated an inverse relationship with neighbourhood levels of income and education. Neighbourhood area socioeconomic status differences were also associated with the injury hospital separation rates for falls among older adults, motor vehicle crashes involving motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians, cyclists and young drivers, and youth self-harm. Conclusions: The study results show that neighbourhood levels of income, education and employment are associated with the risk of injury hospital separation. In particular, low education levels in FSAs was associated with increased risk of injury hospital separation, mainly for motor vehicle occupants, pedestrians, young drivers, and youth self-harm. The results of this study provide useful information for implementing injury prevention initiatives and interventions in BC to align with the provincial public health system and road safety strategy goals, particularly for identified priorities.

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