Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the impact of a computer kiosk intervention on parents’ self-reported safety knowledge as well as observed child safety seat, smoke alarm use, and safe poison storage and to compare self-reported versus observed behaviors.
Methods: A randomized controlled trial with 720 parents of young children (4 months to 5 years) was conducted in the pediatric emergency department of a level 1 pediatric trauma center. Enrolled parents received tailored safety information (intervention) or generic information (control) from a computer kiosk after completing a safety assessment. Parents were telephoned 4 to 6 months after the intervention to assess self-reported safety knowledge and behaviors; in-home observations were made 1 week after the telephone interview for a subset of 100 randomly selected participants. Positive and negative predictive values were compared between the intervention and control groups.
Results: The intervention group had significantly higher smoke alarm (82% vs 78%) and poison storage (83% vs 78%) knowledge scores. The intervention group was more likely to report correct child safety seat use (odds ratio, 1.36; 95% confidence interval, 1.05–1.77; P = 0.02). Observed safety behaviors were lower than self-reported use for both groups. No differences were found between groups for positive or negative predictive values.
Conclusions: These results add to the limited literature on the impact of computer tailoring home safety information. Knowledge gains were evident 4 months after intervention. Discrepancies between observed and self-reported behavior are concerning because the quality of a tailored intervention depends on the accuracy of participant self-reporting. Improved measures should be developed to encourage accurate reporting of safety behaviors.