Program

Sep 29, 2009

OVERVIEW

A program
consisting of a brief physician-led counseling session was developed for
children and adolescents (5-18 years) to promote bicycle helmet use. In one
research study, the counseling session was delivered in a physician’s office as
part of a routine healthcare visit; in another study, the counseling session was
delivered in the emergency department (ED) following a bicycle-related injury.
Participants received helmet promotion counseling along with take-home
pamphlets. Separate evaluations of the office-based and ED-based sessions found
no impact on purchasing a helmet three weeks after program completion.

DESCRIPTION
OF PROGRAM

Target
population:
Children and adolescents (5-18 years).

This untitled
clinic-based bicycle helmet promotion program is a brief counseling session
targeting children and adolescents to encourage bicycle helmet use. The
counseling session is physician-led and includes a discussion of key facts about
bicycle-related head injury and mortality. Key points highlighted include: “Last
summer over 100 children with bike-related injuries were admitted to the
hospital”; and, “Bike accidents are the leading cause of head injury in
childhood.” Physicians also convey their personal concerns of riding a bicycle
without a helmet during the session. After the completion of the counseling
session, participants are then provided with take-home pamphlets, which include
a listing of local retail stores selling bicycle helmets as well as a Sprocket
Man pamphlet to discuss bicycle and road safety. These sessions take place in a
physician’s office, during routine healthcare visits, as well as an emergency
department among children presenting with injuries sustained from a bicycle
crash; these programs were evaluated separately.

EVALUATION(S)
OF PROGRAM

Cushman R,
James W, Waclawik H. (1991). Physicians Promoting Bicycle Helmets for Children:
A Randomized Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 81(8): 1044-1046.

Evaluated
population:
The study sample included 339 families, for a total of 576
children attending a physician’s office for a routine healthcare visit. The mean
child age was 9 years, and more than one-quarter of the sample (26%) already
owned at least one bicycle helmet. These sessions occurred in Ottawa, Canada.

Approach:
When arriving at the physician’s office, children were randomly assigned to the
treatment group (n=288) or to a no-treatment group (n=288). Families were
assessed on whether they purchased a helmet after the intervention.

Results:
At the three-week post-intervention, there was no impact on purchasing a helmet.
The authors speculate this finding may have been due, in part, to a
“co-intervention,” where a social marketing campaign providing a $5 discount on
bicycle helmets was simultaneously occurring.

Cushman R,
Down J, MacMillan N, Waclawik H. (1991). Helmet Promotion in the Emergency Room
Following a Bicycle Injury: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics, 88(1): 43-47.

Evaluated
population:
The study included 334 children, with a mean age of 10 years,
presenting to the emergency department (ED) with a bicycle-related injury;
approximately two-thirds of participants (67%) were male, 14% of participants
suffered a head injury, and 11% of participants were admitted to the hospital.

Approach:
When arriving at the ED, children were randomly assigned to either the
intervention group (n=161) or no-treatment control group (n=173). Children
already owning a bicycle helmet were excluded from the study (n=39). Families
were assessed on whether they purchased a helmet three weeks after the
intervention.

Results:
At the three-week post-intervention, there was no impact on purchasing a bicycle
helmet.

SOURCES FOR
MORE INFORMATION

For a link to a
Sprocket Man pamphlet from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, which was
used in both programs, please visit:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/pubs/341.pdf

For a link to
the Washington Area Bicyclist Association’s Consumer’s guide to bicycle helmets,
which was used in both programs, please visit:

http://www.waba.org/areabiking/maps.php

References

Cushman R, Down
J, MacMillan N, Waclawik H. (1991). Helmet Promotion in the Emergency Room
Following a Bicycle Injury: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics, 88(1): 43-47.

Cushman R, James
W, Waclawik H. (1991). Physicians Promoting Bicycle Helmets for Children: A
Randomized Trial. American Journal of Public Health, 81(8): 1044-1046.

KEYWORDS:
Children (3-11), Adolescents (12-17), Youth, Co-ed, Clinic-based, Counseling/Therapy, Helmet
Use

Program
information last updated on 9/29/09.