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Effectiveness of Anonymised Information Sharing and Use in Health Service, Police, and Local Government Partnership for Preventing Violence Related Injury: Experimental Study and Time Series Analysis

NCJ Number
British Medical Journal Volume: 342 Dated: June 2011 Pages: 1-9
Curtis Florence; Jonathan Shepherd; Lain Brennan; Thomas Simon
Date Published
June 2011
9 pages
This study evaluated the effectiveness of anonymized information sharing to prevent injury related to violence.
This was an experimental study and time series analysis of a prototype community partnership between the health service, police, and local government partners designed to prevent violence. The partnership encompassed Cardiff, Wales, and 14 comparison cities designated "most similar" by the Home Office in England and Wales. After a 33-month development period, anonymized data relevant to violence prevention (precise violence location, time, days, and weapons) from patients attending emergency departments in Cardiff and reporting injury from violence were shared for just over 51 months with police and local authority partners. Information on these cases of violence were used to target resources for violence prevention. Data on the program's impact on violence were obtained from health service records of hospital admissions related to violence and police records of woundings and less serious assaults in Cardiff and other cities after adjustment for potential confounders. This study found that Information-sharing and use were associated with a substantial and significant reduction in hospital admissions that involved violence. In the intervention city (Cardiff), rates fell from seven to five a month per 100,000 population compared with an increase from five to eight in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.58, 95 percent confidence interval 0.49 to 0.69). Average rate of woundings recorded by the police changed from 54 to 82 a month per 100.000 population in Cardiff compared with an increase from 54 to 114 in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 0.68, 0.61 to 0.75). There was a significant increase in less serious assaults recorded by the police, from 15 to 20 a month per 100,000 population in Cardiff compared with a decrease from 42 to 33 in comparison cities (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.38, 1.13 to 1.70). Based on these data, the study concluded that an information-sharing partnership between health services, police, and local government in Cardiff, Wales, altered policing and other strategies to prevent violence based on information collected from patients treated in emergency departments after injuries sustained by violence. This intervention led to a significant reduction in violent injury and was associated with an increase in police recording of minor assaults in Cardiff compared with similar cities in England and Wales where this intervention was not implemented. (publisher abstract modified)