Prevalence and psychosocial factors associated with serious injuries among in-school adolescents in eight sub-Saharan African countries

Aboagye, Richard Gyan, Mireku, Dickson Okoree, Nsiah, John Jackson, Ahinkorah, Bright Opoku, Frimpong, James Boadu, Hagan, John Elvis, Abodey, Eric, and Seidu, Abdul-Aziz (2022) Prevalence and psychosocial factors associated with serious injuries among in-school adolescents in eight sub-Saharan African countries. BMC Public Health, 22 (1). 853.

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Background: Injury is one of the major causes of death and illness among children and adolescents worldwide. We sought to investigate the prevalence of serious injury and its associated factors among in-school adolescents in eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: A sample of 14,967 in-school adolescents was drawn from the Global School-based Student Health Surveys conducted from 2012 to 2017 in eight sub-Saharan African countries. Data were collected using self-administered structured questionnaires. The prevalence of serious injuries was calculated using proportions while multivariable binary logistic regression analysis was carried out to determine the factors associated with serious injuries.

Results: Approximately 45% of in-school adolescents had experienced serious injuries during the past 12 months to the survey in the eight sub-Saharan African countries, with variations from 32.3% in Mauritius to 68.2% in Liberia. Adolescents who experienced bullying [aOR = 2.37, CI = 2.10, 2.68], those who engaged in physical fight [aOR = 2.14, CI = [1.87, 2.44], those who experienced an attack [aOR = 1.96, CI = [1.73, 2.22], those who felt anxious [aOR = 1.47, CI = 1.22,1.77], those who attempted suicide [aOR = 1.38, CI = 1.14, 1.65], truants [aOR = 1.33, CI = [1.17,1.51], current tobacco users [aOR = 1.42, CI = [1.01, 2.01] and current marijuana users [aOR = 1.78, CI = 1.08, 2.93] had higher odds of experiencing serious injuries. However, those whose parents or guardians respected their privacy had lower odds of experiencing serious injuries [aOR =0.78, CI = [0.68, 0.88] compared to those whose parents or guardians did not respect their privacy.

Conclusion: A relatively high prevalence of serious injuries among in-school adolescents was identified in the eight sub-Saharan African countries studied. Programs and interventions that target the reduction of injuries in educational institutions should take a keen interest in the factors identified in this study. To deal with injury victims, first aid services should be provided in school settings.

Item ID: 74432
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1471-2458
Keywords: Adolescents, Global School-based Student Health Survey, Injuries, Public Health, Sub-Saharan Africa
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 04:16
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4206 Public health > 420699 Public health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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