Injury Research Center

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Research Project Profile

IV) An Analysis of Violence Related Fatalities and Injuries in Wisconsin


Title: An Analysis of Violence Related Fatalities and Injuries in Wisconsin
Project Director: Stephen W. Hargarten, MD, MPH
Project Co-director: Carrie Nie MPH
Institutions: Medical College of Wisconsin
Categorization I: Prevention
Categorization II: Major Project
Categorization III: New
Cost / Year: $100,000 / year
Duration: Five Years
Key Words: firearms, violence, suicide, homicide, injury, surveillance systems
Long term Objectives and Specific Ams:
Homicides and suicides are a significant public health problem, accounting for approximately 48,400 deaths in 1998 in the United States. The proposed project will investigate trends and epidemiological patterns of intentional injury fatalities and non-fatal intentional injuries in Wisconsin using a comprehensive statewide Violence Fatality Reporting System. This system, a linked information system of medical examiners/coroners, law enforcement agencies and crime lab data, will include all Wisconsin homicides and suicides. We will also examine trends in violence-related injuries in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services using the statewide hospitalization discharge data set and a statewide emergency department data set. This combined morbidity and mortality data set will enable us to examine the spectrum of violent events and describe and contrast emerging trends and characteristics for these deaths and non-fatal events.

Research Design and Methods:
The project has three essential elements: 1) The first component of the project will analyze the linked information to answer several questions including: What are the changes in suicide and homicide rates and patterns over time: associated with methodology used, victim (homicide and suicide) and perpetrator (homicide suspect) characteristics and relationships including criminal records, urban/suburban/rural circumstances and locations, changes related to implementation of new policies that address perpetrators/victim, environment, and weapon availability? 2) We will also evaluate system data completeness, consistency and accuracy. 3) By linking the intentional injury deaths with non-fatal hospital discharges and emergency department admissions, additional important questions can be addressed. These include the relationship of the method of attempted suicide (e.g. drugs, firearms, other categories) to age, sex, urban/rural location of residence, hospital mortality, length of stay, hospital charges and costs and age/cause specific case fatality ratios.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 02/13/2014