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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Changes in parents' risk perception following medically attended injuries Ishikawa, Takuro


Unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for Canadian children aged 1 to14 years and an important public health concern. Given that parental behaviour is a key determinant of these incidents, this study examines parents’ perception of injury risk and their decision to take preventive action after medically attended injuries (MAIs) to their children. The present study examined parents’ perceived risk of injury and their likelihood of engaging in safety behaviour, approximately the day of the injury, as well as one month, four months, and 12 months later. Longitudinal analysis with mixed models was performed to examine changes in parents’ judgments of injury risk and likelihood to search injury prevention information. A sample of 39 fathers and 132 mothers (total 171) were included in the study. Parents of children who had a history of MAIs before enrolling in the study reported a higher perceived risk of the same and of any injury. Further, the perceived risk of any injury for parents of children without a history of injuries decreased over time, indicating that the first MAI to a child has a transient effect on perception of injury. There was insufficient statistical power to examine if parents were more likely to engage in safety behaviour after their child sustained a MAI. Findings are discussed in light of previous research, and implications for prevention of injury recurrence are described.

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