L. S. Doll, S. E. Bonzo, J. A. Mercy, & D. A. Sleet (Editors), The Handbook of Injury and Violence Prevention, New York: Springer, 2007, 598 pages, $109.00, ISBN: 13: 978-0387-25924-6.
C. I. Fertman & D. D. Allensworth (Editors), Health Promotion Programs: From Theory to Practice, San Francisco: Jossey-Boss, 2010, 480 pages, $70.00, ISBN: 978-0-470-24155-4.
Beyond the physical and psychological trauma of injury, the burden of medical cost and productivity loss is of almost unimaginable magnitude, estimated at $400 billion for the year 2000 alone. The moral and pressing challenge to develop meaningful prevention or health promotion interventions is now possible given the foundational injury research coupled with the more recent application of behavioral science theories, methods, and evaluation. In 2007, The Handbook of Injury and Violence Prevention was published, providing useful content to any nurse hoping to decrease the incidence of often irreversible outcomes of injury seen in acute care and neurological rehabilitation settings throughout the United States and the world. Since the book's publication, however, there has been no evidence in the literature cited that this valuable content has reached or been utilized by the nursing profession to prevent primary or secondary injury or to improve patient safety. This may be due in part to publisher marketing, or maybe as nurses, the only books we read given our hectic lives are the quick read novel or required text reading for an advanced degree. Another thought is that "injury prevention" is a lesser recognized nursing concept than is, for example, "health promotion." It may seem intuitive that the audience for an injury prevention text would know the related concepts and definitions; still, after discussing the epidemiology and cost of injury in the Introduction, the authors do describe the basics of prevention science. In contrast, in Health Promotion Programs: From Theory to Practice (2010), the text opens with specific Learning Objectives and closes with Key Terms, Practice, and Discussion Questions typical of a university-level textbook. Interestingly, the concept of prevention specific to primary, secondary, and tertiary actions is introduced, including risk factors that are also common to injury prevention language. Will the nursing profession access and cite this health promotion text?
Part 1 of the Handbook is organized into five comprehensive parts, beginning with an analysis of unintentional and violent injury in the United States, including discussions about the staggering costs of these injuries. Part 2 includes a critical review of safety interventions for not only those with strong evidence for effectiveness but also those having negative effects. The discussion of acute care hospitalization and the association with fall injuries is compelling. Nurse-useful, too, are discussions of the strengths and weaknesses of preventing fall-related injury, evidence-based ideas for improving interventions, and future research needs.
For the practitioner or researcher eager to try existing curricula or create a tailored intervention, Part 3 offers a discussion of crosscutting intervention issues. The focus is on those issues relevant to changing the social environment to prevent unintentional and violent injury, including the prevention of alcohol-related injuries and those caused by the misuse of firearms, as well as the role of parenting in preventing childhood injuries.
In Part 4, experts recognized for their knowledge of the various aspects of field interventions emphasize the importance of using systematic reviews. The chapter on behavioral interventions indicates how conceptualizing injury prevention has evolved over the decades to successfully include behavioral science theories, methods, and applications. Key constructs for the most widely used models are discussed.
Awareness of the cultural implications of working with a target group is just the first step in providing an appropriate intervention. The authors of the Handbook discuss five approaches to cultural appropriateness, including peripheral, evidential, linguistic, constituent participation, and sociocultural. Because understanding the outcome is crucial, the chapter on evaluating the fidelity and effectiveness of intervention programs is critical content. One approach, the use of readiness interviews, is a method that involves the community in an intervention to inform design, initiation, and evaluation of programs, especially in those cases where community leadership is critical to program success.
Part 5 stresses meaningful intervention programs and provides approaches for increasing the use of science-based interventions. Outcomes may not necessarily be successful to be meaningful, as "lessons-learned" publications also inform readers.
In Health Promotion Programs, Part 1 provides a broad historical sketch including a description of the first International Conference of Health Promotion's definition of health. If not for the discussion of the ecological perspective, also relevant and discussed in the Handbook in the context of preventing injury, this content might be too basic for even the novice nurse. An "Action Model" shows the interaction of the social determinants of health, interventions, and outcomes to reach the Health People 2020 goals. Notably, since the Handbook was published in 2007, the Healthy People goals referred to are the 2010 ones. Related to the Healthy People goals are program strategies created to eliminate health disparities, with attention to racial and ethnic differences are discussed.
Modeled after the nursing process of assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation, although perhaps unwittingly, Parts 2, 3, and 4 provide readers with methods to initiate and responsibly make a health promotions program a reality. Integral and timely to this program development process is the presentation of evidence-based interventions, policy development, along with practical budget and funding considerations. Furthermore, it is evident that both injury prevention and health promotion efforts often mean advocating for underserved groups, and both books dedicate entire chapters to the cultural appropriateness of interventions for minorities and to advocacy. Both books discuss intervention and program evaluation also, but Health Promotion Programs has a spin that offers the reader material on leadership for change and sustainability.
In the final section of Health Promotion Programs, diverse settings for programs address foci differences in schools and universities, healthcare organizations, the workplace, and the community. The historical perspective of these health promotion programs gives the reader a sense of progress, that is, if we read and learn from history.
Reviewed by Sherry Garrett Hendrickson, PhD APRN BC, Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing.