Three GCH Alumni Co-author New Study Examining Injuries in South American Adolescents

Although most unintentional injuries are preventable, it remains one of the leading causes of hospital visits and missed days of school among adolescents around the world. Identifying the risk behaviors that lead to these injuries is a necessary step toward developing injury prevention education interventions.

Naja Beck, Issra Arif, and Michelle Paumier, all 2016 MS in global health alumni, have published a paper examining adolescent injuries in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Uruguay. The paper, written as their capstone project for a class taught by Professor Kathryn H. Jacobsen, is published in Injury, the official journal of 14 collaborating national and international orthopedic organizations.

The authors analyzed data from the 2012-2013 Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS), a youth health and risk behavior study conducted in low- and middle-income countries around the world with support from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We found that approximately 30 percent of students in southern South America had experienced at least one serious injury in the past year,” Paumier said. Arif observed that “our results show the need for these countries to improve injury prevention among both boys and girls during the middle school and high school years.” Beck added, “Besides taking steps to address the direct causes of motor vehicle collisions, sports injuries, and other types of physical trauma, we need to address the underlying risk factors for injuries, including alcohol use and violent behaviors.”