Social marketing research to prevent unintentional injury to Aboriginal children

Social marketing research to prevent unintentional injury to Aboriginal children

NSW Ministry of Health
Duration: July 2016 – December 2017


In March 2015, CHSD responded to an expression of interest from the NSW Ministry of Health for research proposals which either inform paediatric injury prevention or inform health service provision for paediatric injury. Funding was received to undertake research to develop a set of guidelines for policy and practice for the prevention of unintentional injury to Aboriginal children and young people. The research involved a literature review, stakeholder interviews and focus group discussions and explored the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of risk of injury to Aboriginal children from the perspectives of Aboriginal people. It resulted in a set of guidelines which identified key injury prevention messages from experts and identified Aboriginal community preferences including: flexibly delivered educational components, utilisation of social media, allowing children to explore and learn for themselves, and using positive strength based messaging. This research is being used to inform the social marketing campaign which is currently underway.

What we did

We drew from our existing collaboration with experts in the field of injury research (The George Institute for Global Health), non-government organisations with a focus on child injury prevention (Kidsafe NSW and the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network) and the Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Sector. The project utilised social media to share safety messages, and develop e-learning experiences based on injury issues for children from birth to five years e.g. falls, burns, drowning, poisonings, and the promotion of home safety devices. Information was delivered via online platforms including Facebook and the Kidsafe website; the target group for the project were social media participants who are parents or carers of Aboriginal children under five years and are active Facebook users.

A targeted literature review was carried out to explore how social media can be used to promote child safety messages to an Aboriginal audience. The review provided an up-to-date state of knowledge of how social media is used for injury prevention and how Aboriginal people use social media. It identified current gaps in the literature about how social media can most effectively be used for child injury prevention and safety promotion.

The research involved the research team working closely with one Aboriginal organisation, Waminda – South Coast Women’s Health & Welfare Aboriginal Corporation, to identify a pilot site. The project employed action research methodologies that engaged the Aboriginal participants in the design, delivery and evaluation of the activities. Women who attended the Waminda’s weekly ‘Mums and Bubs’ group, were recruited as research participants. We engaged Kidsafe NSW to deliver two child safety training workshops, and worked with the women to develop culturally appropriate child safety messages within a closed Facebook group. The project used a process and impact evaluation with the development of a logic model and evaluation framework. We collected data through yarning sessions and online observation and a post-implementation focus group. The pilot group showed greater general awareness of child safety. The group also showed interest in sharing child safety content beyond the scope of study.

The study results were presented at the Australian Injury Prevention Conference in November 2017 and the final report was submitted to the NSW Ministry of Health in December 2017. 


AHSRI research team: Kathleen Clapham, Keziah Bennett-Brook
George Institute for Global Health research team: Kate Hunter, Rebecca Ivers
Reference group and collaborations: Christine Erskine (CEO Kidsafe NSW), Karen Zwi (Sydney Children’s Hospital Network), Stephanie Blows (NSW Health)

Last reviewed: 3 August, 2018

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