Community-based interventions usually involve a number of different strategies and activities aimed at creating changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and skills that influence health. One of the unique features of these approaches is that they typically include strategies to create change in individuals and families as well as efforts to change organizational and environmental factors and policies that influence behavior and health. These interventions are designed to prevent motor vehicle injuries through activities to increase awareness (e.g., knowledge of the impact of motor vehicle accidents on deaths and injuries), healthy behaviors (e.g., using restraints, avoiding impaired driving), and enforcement of laws (e.g., blood alcohol content, “zero tolerance” for young drivers, or minimum legal drinking age).
Community-based interventions include strategies that are implemented in a variety of places with a variety of partners including:
- Metropolitan areas
- Community centers
- Health departments
- Schools (elementary, middle, and high school)
- Institutions and organizations for older adults
Previous work in community-based settings has found:
- Community-based motor vehicle safety campaigns can reach populations that may not be reached in other settings.
- Community and leisure time settings for motor vehicle injury education sessions can provide support, motivation, and reinforcement for behavior change (e.g., wearing a seat belt) that is learned in other settings.
- Retirement villages can incorporate health activities into their social events to encourage healthy lifestyles among the older residents. They can provide messages to elderly adults that are still driving to use caution and wear their seat belts.
- Day care centers have an abundance of children and provide direct contact of seat belt safety messages with parents while transporting their children.
- Child care centers and after school programs can be settings used to capture booster seat use with children and educate parents on proper use.
- College campuses are effective settings to launch campaigns discouraging drinking and driving, through the use of the campus newspaper, advertisements in various places around campus and promotional items distributed to students.
- It is important to establish legitimacy for health interventions in the community as a community project and not an experiment.
- Substantial numbers of drinking drivers come from licensed alcoholic beverage facilities (e.g., bars, pubs, restaurants), such that interventions directed toward public drinking establishments can reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road.
- In community or organizational settings, intervention strategies often include informational support (e.g., information about causes of motor vehicle injuries), tangible support (e.g., skills and abilities people have to prevent motor vehicle injuries) and appraisal support (e.g., sense of acceptance and belonging as individuals make choices to practice safety precautions).
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