Recommended Data Elements for Firearm-Related Injury Surveillance

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Recommended Data Elements for Firearm-Related Injury Surveillance

Category: Injury|Journal: American Journal of Preventative Medicine|Author: L Saltzman, R Ikeda|Year: 1998

During 1994, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded seven states to develop and evaluate surveillance systems for firearm-related injuries. In addition, New York City and California had related experience with firearm-related injury surveillance. At the time these nine jurisdictions began developing their surveillance systems, no standardized definitions or recommendations were available about the best methods or procedures of collecting data or suggested data elements of a firearm-related injury surveillance system. The nine jurisdictions and CDC developed a list of recommended data elements (RDEs) for fatal and nonfatal firearm-related injuries. We describe the process used to develop the RDEs, the 21 data elements suggested by the funded projects, the data sources that may be able to provide those data elements, and an indication of which sources may be most useful. We encourage all developing surveillance systems to strive to include these data elements, although some of the elements will be more easily attainable for fatal injury events than nonfatal ones, and no single data source will be able to provide all the desired information about both morbidity and mortality from firearm-related injuries. The RDEs capitalize on the preliminary experiences of the small group of jurisdictions, but they need to be pilot tested and revised as we collect more information about how well these elements capture the desired information and whether the information obtained is useful.

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