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Evaluation of the injury prevention program P.A.R.T.Y.
The P.A.R.T.Y. Program is a one-day injury awareness and prevention program for youth age 15 and older. P.A.R.T.Y. stands for Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth. It takes young people through the path of a trauma patient as they are rushed through the trauma room doors, into surgery, rehab and, if lucky enough, recovery. Accidents are among the most common causes of death among young people.
In 2012 the German Society for Trauma Surgery (DGU) introduced the P.A.R.T.Y. Program in Germany. To date the program is conducted in 38 trauma centre across Germany.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the German P.A.R.T.Y. Program. Furthermore, a program theory should be developed that describes how the P.A.R.T.Y. Program influences young people’s behaviour.
In 2016/2017 a quasi-experimental longitudinal study was conducted with three measurement times. 19 P.A.R.T.Y. Days were examined in seven different trauma centres. 19 school classes took part. Eleven parallel classes served as a control group. A total of 908 pupils were surveyed, 574 of them at all three measuring points. On average, the participants were almost 16 years old, 50 percent each were girls and boys.
The effects of the individual P.A.R.T.Y. Days on the attitude and the self-reported behaviour of the participants were calculated separately. Using meta-analysis the average effect of P.A.R.T.Y. Program was calculated.
The program is highly appreciated among the target group. Participants rated the experience of the P.A.R.T.Y. Program as good or very good.
There are small statistically significant effects on the behaviour and the determinants influencing the behaviour one day after the program. Four to five months later, however, these effects can no longer be observed, with one exception. Participants still consider the consequences of accidents as more severe compared to before the program.
An important reason for this seems to be that the assumptions about how the program influences young people are inadequate. The program is based on appeal to fear which is very popular in road safety prevention. Instead, cognitive factors such as intention (behavioural intention) and self-efficacy are decisive for young people's behaviour.
In a workshop, the consequences for programme development were discussed with those responsible for the programme and other experts. There are, among others:
- The revision of the programme structure, more opportunities for self-reflection and discussion.
- The provision of teaching materials for schools to support preparation and follow-up.
- Cooperation and coordination of content with external partners (e.g. Deutsche Verkehrswacht).
- A working group at the German Society for Trauma Surgery (DGU) for further developing of the P.A.R.T.Y. Programme.