Table 1

Summary of randomised controlled trials of interventions to promote smoke alarms

Trial, year (country) Study population Randomisation method Allocation concealment Outcomes assessment blinded Loss to follow up Intervention1-150 Outcomes assessment
Thomas et al, 198444 (USA)16 well baby classes (55 parents)Coin tossNot statedNot statedTotal: 0%I: Burn prevention lecture, pamphlets, handouts, coupon for alarm; usual safety educationHome inspection 4–6 wk after class
C: Usual safety education
Kelly et al, 198733 (USA)171 parents of 6 mth old children seen for well child careNot statedNot statedYesI: 35%I: Developmentally oriented child safety education, hazard assessment, and handout, at 6, 9, 12 mth visits; usual well child careHome inspection, medical chart review 1 mth after 12 month visit
C: 37%C: Usual well child care
Davis, 198731 (USA)41 grade 4–6 classes (861 children) Not statedNot statedNoI: 1%I: 6 one hour fire safety lessons with workbook, demonstrations; teacher training, materials; take home materials for parentsIn school survey immediately after last class
C: 0%C: Usual lessons
Williams, 198845 (USA)12 prenatal classes (165 pregnant women)Random numbers tableAdequateNo55% of women attending randomly allocated classes did not enrol in trialI: One hour lecture, handouts on burn prevention; motor vehicle safety education and video; usual safety educationHome inspection 2–4 wk after live birth
C: One hour lecture, handouts and video on infant stimulation, feeding; usual safety education
Barone, 198828(USA)5 parenting classes (108 parents of toddlers) Coin toss, within paired classesInadequateNo27% of parents attending randomly allocated classes did not enrol in trialI: Slides, handouts on burn prevention; motor vehicle safety education and video; bath water thermometer; hot water gauge; usual safety educationHome inspection 6 mth after class
C: Usual safety education
Mathews, 198836 (USA)26 mothers of toddlers recruited from clinics, day care centres18 by random numbers table; 8 by alternationInadequateNot statedTotal: 8%I: Home safety inspection, video, handouts, modelling re: safety and managing dangerous child behaviour; hot water thermometers; choke tubeHome inspection 2 wk after home visit
C: Home visit with video, handouts, modelling on language stimulation
Ploeg et al, 199450 (Canada)1-151 359 public health clients aged 65+ yRandom numbers tableAdequateYesI: 1%I: Home safety inspection, safety promotionTelephone survey 2–3 mth after home visit
C: 7%C: Home visit for influenza vaccine promotion
Jenkins et al, 199647 (Canada)1-151 141 families of children <17 y in burn unitRandom numbers tableAdequateYesTotal: 13%I: Discharge teaching book about burn care and prevention; routine discharge teachingInterview in clinic at first follow up visit
C: Routine discharge teaching
Clamp and Kendrick, 199830 (UK)1-151 165 families of children <5 y on GP listRandom numbers tableAdequateNoTotal: 0%I: Safety advice by health visitors and practice nurses, leaflets, discount safety devices for low income familiesTelephone/mail survey 6 wk after visit
C: Usual care
Klassen et al, 199848 (Canada)1-151 1172 families of children aged <8 y hospitalised for injuriesSealed, opaque envelopes drawn from opaque bagAdequateYesI: 20%I: Home safety inspection, education, safety device coupons; reinforcement at 4 and 8 mthHome inspection at 1 y follow up
C: 18%C: Home safety inspection only
Kendricket al, 199924 (UK)1-151 36 general practices (2052 registered children 3–13 mth)Random numbers tableAdequateNoSurvey: I: 67%I: Safety advice by health visitors and practice nurses, literature, discount safety devices for low income families, home safety checks and first aid training by health visitorsRecord review for injuries; telephone survey of safety practices at 25 mth follow up
C: 64%C: Usual care
Smithson and Mullan, 199851(UK)1-151 (in progress)8 paired areas in 4 deprived communities (∼240 families of children ⩽2 y/area)Coin toss, within pairsNot statedNo(Prelim. results from 1 pair): I: 30% (excluded families not completing intervention)I: Home visits every 2 mth for 2 y by trained lay worker, teaching child development, safety, first aid; low cost safety devices; home safety inspectionHome inspection, survey at 2 years; alarms (preliminary—1 pair): 287/312 (92%) v271/302 (90%)
C: 11%C: Home safety inspection
Gielenet al, 199846 (USA)
(in progress)
32 doctors in training (196 families of children 0–6 mth)Random numbers tableAdequateYesTotal: 31% of familiesI: 5 hours of special training in injury prevention counsellingHome inspection, interview after 12 mth well child visit
C: Usual training
  • 1-150 I, intervention; C, control.

  • 1-151 Unpublished data provided by investigators.