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Awarded Research Grant to Prevent Unintentional Injuries

Dissemination of Booster Seat Community Intervention

FOA Number: CE03-033 - Grants for Dissemination Research of Effective Interventions to Prevent Unintentional Injuries
Project Period: 09/30/03–09/29/06
Application/Grant Number: 1-R49-CE023398-01
Principal Investigator: Beth Ebel, MD, MSc, MPH
University of Washington
Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center
325 9th Avenue, Box 359960
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-521-1550
Fax: 206-521-1562


Belt-positioning booster seats are a relatively new technology for better protecting child occupants who have outgrown child seats but do not yet fit into adult seatbelts. However, communities in which children may be at highest risk of injury may be slow to adopt this new technology.

We hypothesize that parents whose children are still not using booster seats face different barriers to their consistent use, including language barriers, cultural beliefs, and economic factors. This project will use ethnographic research methods (i.e., elicitation interviews, focus group studies) to better understand behavioral barriers to booster seat use. These results will be used to develop a tailored community intervention based on theoretical models of health behavior. Intervention components will be based on social marketing methods and the findings from the qualitative research above. We will include elements that were effective in earlier work, including a discount coupon, dissemination of simple and clear messages, media dissemination through channels identified by Latino participants, development of a Latino community advisory council, and participatory research methods. The effectiveness of the intervention will be assessed in a controlled community trial. Booster use and child passenger safety practices will be assessed through direct observation. Secondary outcomes include adult restraint use, measures of message dissemination, and capacity building. The long-term goal of these inter-related projects is to disseminate a proven child safety technology to Latino families in order to better protect children in motor vehicle crashes.