Prevention of road traffic collisions and associated neurotrauma in Colombia: An exploratory qualitative study




Introduction Neurotrauma is an important but preventable cause of death and disability worldwide, with the majority being associated with road traffic collisions (RTCs). The greatest burden is seen in low -and middle- income countries (LMICs) where variations in the environment, infrastructure, population and habits can challenge the success of conventional preventative approaches. It is therefore necessary to understand local perspectives to allow for the development and implementation of context-specific strategies which are effective and sustainable. Methods This study took place in Colombia where qualitative data collection was carried out with ten key informants between October and November 2019. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and explored perceptions on RTCs and neurotrauma, preventative strategies and interventions, and the role of research in prevention. Interview transcripts were analysed by thematic analysis using a framework approach. Results Participants’ confirmed that RTCs are a significant problem in Colombia with neurotrauma as an important outcome. Human and organisational factors were identified as key causes of the high rates of RTCs. Participants described the current local preventative strategies, but were quick to discuss limitations and challenges to their success. Key barriers reported were poor attitudes and knowledge, particularly in the community. Suggestions were provided on ways to improve prevention through better education and awareness, stricter enforcement and new policies on prevention, proper budgeting and resource allocation, as well as through collaboration and changes in attitudes and leadership. Participants identified four key research areas they felt would influence prevention of RTCs and associated neurotrauma: causes of RTCs; consequences and impact of RTCs; public involvement in research; improving prevention. Conclusion RTCs are a major problem in Colombia despite the current preventative strategies and interventions. Findings from this study have a potential to influence policy, practice and research by illustrating different solutions to the challenges surrounding prevention and by highlighting areas for further research.

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