Panamerican Journal of Trauma, Critical Care & Emergency Surgery

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 1 ( January-April, 2024 ) > List of Articles


Changing Attitudes toward Youth Violence: The Role of Brief Hospital-based Interventions

Michel B Aboutanos, Salpi Kevorkian, Kelly E O Connor, Rachelle Hunley, Robin Foster, Sheryl Garland, Nicholas Thomson

Keywords : Brief violence intervention, Case management, Youth violence

Citation Information : Aboutanos MB, Kevorkian S, O Connor KE, Hunley R, Foster R, Garland S, Thomson N. Changing Attitudes toward Youth Violence: The Role of Brief Hospital-based Interventions. Panam J Trauma Crit Care Emerg Surg 2024; 13 (1):14-20.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10030-1443

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 30-04-2024

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2024; The Author(s).


Aims and background: The epidemic of youth violence is sweeping the nation and has become a public health crisis. The impact of hospital-based interventions on risk (violent attitudes and behaviors) and protective factors [attitudes toward school (ATS) and attitudes toward employment (ATE)] remains unknown. This study will assess changes in attitudes toward violence (ATV) in response to a hospital-based brief violence intervention (BVI) and community case management services (CCMS). Materials and methods: Youths (10–24 years) who were intentionally injured and admitted to a level 1 trauma center were prospectively randomly assigned to BVI alone (group I) or in combination with BVI + CCMS (group II). Recidivism, ATV, triggers for fighting (TFF), ATS, ATE, and future aspirations (FAs) were assessed at baseline (BsL) during admission, 6 weeks (6W), and 6 months (6M) postdischarge. Results: A total of 75 injured patients were enrolled. The groups did not significantly differ in demographics or injuries. Around 21% of the participants reported having a history of violent recidivism. ATS improved from 64% BsL to 81% 6W (p = 0.14) and 92% 6M (p = 0.07). ATV improved from 68% BsL to 79% at 6W (p = 0.0061) and (78%) at 6M (p = 0.0199). TFF was transiently decreased (<50%) at 6W, returning back to BsL (>50%) at 6M. ATE was high, >90% at all levels. The hospital experience was associated with a positive change in future outlook and aspirations in 70 to 80% (group I 75% and group II 78%) at all time periods. Conclusion and clinical significance: Hospital BVI has a positive impact on youths’ perception of and vulnerability to violence while promoting protective factors.

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