Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Epidemiology & Biostatistics

Epidemiology is the study of health conditions, such as injury, within a specific population. Biostatistics is the application of statistical methods to medical problems. Together, epidemiology research and biostatistics research form the cornerstone of our work to identify the nature and magnitude of specific injury problems, along with the risk factors and consequences of injury.

At the Center, investigators in these disciplines serve as team members on nearly every initiative. Their efforts have contributed to CIRP research being accepted for publication by top medical journals such as JAMA, Pediatrics and Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine. In addition, our research supports the work of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and other federal agencies.

Our epidemiology research focuses on identifying populations that are at particularly high risk for injury and determining environmental or social causes underlying these risks. Identifying these populations is a key first step in improving injury rates. This research informs our Outreach and Advocacy efforts to target audiences that will most benefit from the research.

Epidemiology and Biostatistics in our Programs:

  • National Child Occupant Special Study (NCOSS)
    In a series of pilot studies, CIRP researchers are determining the appropriate methods of subject recruitment and data collection for a national child-focused supplemental crash data collection system.
  • Teen Driver Safety
    Through its Young Driver Research team, CIRP is working to reduce deaths and injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes, the No. 1 cause of death for teens. Utilizing multidisciplinary expertise, including epidemiology research and biostatistics research, CIRP deploys comprehensive and rigorous methods to both analyze the factors associated with teen crashes and to develop interventions to change behaviors that contribute to those crashes.
  • Functional Disability
    In children, functional disability from trauma is far more common than death. This line of research investigates the nature of these disabilities, and its findings may contribute to new designs of child safety seats or public policy to mitigate these injuries in motor vehicle crashes.
  • Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS)
    Through the Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS), researchers from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania and The Ohio State University work side-by-side with industry to conduct translational research that is practical to industry. CChIPS is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) that focuses exclusively on making children and adolescents safer. Faculty members maintain an ongoing dialogue with major child-safety organizations throughout the world and are engaged in specific research partnerships with leading automotive manufacturers, restraint suppliers, insurance providers, and government agencies.
  • Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS)
    PCPS was the world's largest child-focused motor vehicle crash surveillance system. PCPS collected data on 875,000 children in crashes from 1998 to 2007.