State of the science: a scoping review of primary prevention of firearm injuries among children and adolescents

Abstract

Intentional and unintentional firearm injury is the second leading cause of death for youth, underscoring the need for effective primary prevention approaches that focus on increasing safe storage by caregivers and decreasing handling/carriage among youth. This article describes the state of the science for prevention of firearm injuries among children and adolescents. We applied PRISMA guidelines to present results from a scoping review using PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, and CJ Abstracts for original research articles published between January 1, 1985 and March 1, 2018 in the U.S. focusing on primary screening or interventions for primary prevention of pediatric firearm injuries. In total, 46 articles met inclusion criteria: safe storage (23), screening (2), firearm handling/carriage/use (21). Across school, healthcare, and community settings, few evidenced-based programs exist, and data on firearm safety technologies are lacking. Programs have generally not employed rigorous designs, and/or assessed behavioral (e.g., carriage) or injury-related firearm outcomes. Evidenced-based prevention programs are needed to mitigate firearm morbidity and mortality among youth.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank Gurpreet Kaur Rana, Informationist at the Taubman Health Sciences Library, University of Michigan, for creating the search strategies. We would also like to thank Jhuree Hong and Jaemin Park, and Stephanie Kostolansky for assisting with title abstract screening, organizing and summarizing articles for review.

Funding

This review was funded by NIH/NICHD 1R24HD087149-01A1. The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the funding agencies. Supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism of the National Institutes of Health K23 AA022641.

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Correspondence to Quyen M. Ngo.

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Quyen M. Ngo, Eric Sigel, Allante Moon, Sara F. Stein, Lynn S. Massey, Frederick Rivara, Cheryl King, Mark Ilgen, Rebecca Cunningham, and Maureen A. Walton declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and animal rights and Informed consent

All procedures followed were in accordance with ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

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Appendix: PubMed scoping review search strategy

Appendix: PubMed scoping review search strategy

PubMed

Date Searched: March 29, 2018

Final number of results: 782

(gun[tiab] OR guns[tiab] OR handgun[tiab] OR handguns[tiab] OR firearm[tiab] OR firearms[tiab] OR “firearms”[MeSH Terms] OR gunshot[tiab] OR gunshots[tiab] OR shooting[tiab] OR shootings[tiab]))) AND ((“Wounds and Injuries”[Mesh] OR “wounds, gunshot”[MeSH Terms] OR injury[tiab] OR injuries[tiab] OR mortality[tiab] OR non-fatal[tiab] OR nonfatal[tiab] OR fatal[tiab] OR intentional[tiab] OR unintentional[tiab] OR accidental[tiab] OR Homicide[Mesh] OR killing*[tiab] OR murder*[tiab]))) AND (Prevent*[tiab] OR “prevention and control”[Subheading] OR “Primary Prevention”[MeSH Terms] OR “Preventive Health Services”[Mesh]) AND (Behavior[MeSH Terms] OR behavior[tiab] OR “violence prevention”[tiab] OR violence[MeSH] OR crime[MeSH Terms] OR “criminal justice”[tiab] OR Jurisprudence[MeSH] OR “legislation and jurisprudence”[Subheading] OR courts[tiab] OR judicial[tiab] OR counseling[MeSH Terms] OR “Health Promotion”[MeSH Terms] OR “Health Education”[MeSH Terms] OR “Mental Health Services”[MeSH Terms] OR “Community Health Services”[MeSH Terms] OR “community health”[tiab] OR “mental health”[tiab] OR “safe storage”[tiab] OR storage[tiab] OR “gun safety”[tiab] OR safety[MeSH] OR “Residence Characteristics”[MeSH Terms] OR Schools[MeSH Terms] OR “school-based”[tiab] OR school*[tiab] OR “community-based”[tiab] OR communit* OR “Protective Devices”[MeSH Terms] OR bulletproof OR Technology[MeSH Terms] OR technolog*[MeSH Terms] OR “Protective Factors”[MeSH Terms]) AND (adolescent[MeSH Terms] OR youth[MeSH Terms] OR child[MeSH Terms] OR teenager[Title/Abstract] OR teen[Title/Abstract] OR adolescen*[Title/Abstract] OR child[Title/Abstract] OR youth[title/abstract] OR children[Title/Abstract] OR minor[Title/Abstract] OR minors[title/abstract] OR delinquent[Title/Abstract] OR delinquency[Title/Abstract] OR pediatric*[Title/Abstract] OR parent*[tiab]) AND (“1985/01/01”[PDat]: “2018/12/31”[PDat]).

Filters: Publication date from 1985/01/01 to 2018/03/28.

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Ngo, Q.M., Sigel, E., Moon, A. et al. State of the science: a scoping review of primary prevention of firearm injuries among children and adolescents. J Behav Med 42, 811–829 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10865-019-00043-2

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Keywords

  • Universal prevention
  • Primary prevention
  • Firearm injury
  • Safe storage
  • Firearm carriage
  • Children
  • Adolescents