Welcome to the WVU Injury Control Research Center

Injury has been called the neglected disease of modern society.  Injuries are the leading cause of death for the first four decades of life, regardless of gender, race, or socioeconomic status. More than 179,000 individuals in the United States die each year as a result of unintentional injuries and violence, more than 29 million others suffer non-fatal injuries and over one-third of all emergency department visits each year are due to injuries. Most events that result in injury could be prevented if evidence-based public health strategies, practices, and policies were used throughout the nation.

The West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center (WVU ICRC) maintains a specific focus on populations residing in West Virginia, and throughout the surrounding Appalachian region. West Virginia is the only state that lies entirely within Appalachia.

The Appalachian region manifests many socioeconomic and public health challenges including exceptionally high injury rates and several unique injury problems. Several injury mechanisms contribute excessively to the injury disparities in West Virginia and the surrounding region.  An understanding of these mechanisms has led our Center to emphasize these injury problems in our prior and current work. 

These priority areas include motor-vehicle-related injuries, unintentional drug overdoses and poisonings (largely resulting from prescription drug misuse and abuse), falls among the elderly, occupational injuries and violence, traumatic brain injury, suicide and self harm, and intimate partner violence. Through specifically addressing the underserved and disadvantaged Appalachian region and the injury problems that plague it, the WVU ICRC research has regional, national, and international, implications.



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   News Highlights

  • The WVU ICRC’s Exploratory Research Program would like to announce the newly funded pilot project, Feasibility of implementing a computerized adaptive diagnostic screening tool for major depressive disorder (CAD-MDD) to identify patients at risk of suicide in WV emergency departments. PI: Elyce A. Biddle, PhD; Co-I’s: Stephen M. Davis, MSW, MPA; Patrick L. Kerr, PhD; Arnold H. Hassen, PhD
    The risk of suicide related to unrecognized and untreated depression, is a serious public health problem throughout the US and of particular concern to West Virginia, where the rates of suicide are above the national average. A recently developed tool--the computerized adaptive diagnostic screening tool for depression (CAD-MDD), has remarkably high sensitivity (0.95) and specificity (0.87) rates for predicting a diagnosis of major depressive disorder (MDD) compared to other tools currently being used in the field. The CAD-MDD will be supplemented with screening questions from the Columbia-Suicide Severity Rating Scale; the combined tool (CAD-MDD-S) will identify those patients with suicidal thoughts, intent, plans, and behaviors. The project will explore the methods for WV Emergency Departments (EDs) to operationalize the computerized adaptive diagnostic screening tool for MDD combined with suicidal questions as a secondary suicide prevention strategy. Specifically, the project will identify and assess procedures to implement and operationalize the CAD-MDD in selected West Virginia Emergency Departments as well as determine the associated costs from the EDs’ perspective. The CAD-MDD will be administered to ambulatory patients, those without acute or critical injuries or illnesses, over the age of 17 presenting in each of the emergency facilities. The first round of the CAD-MDD will be administered at West Virginia University Ruby Memorial Hospital Emergency Department in Morgantown, WV. The research team will conduct process evaluations to determine the feasibility and acceptability of implementing the tool.
    The long-term research goals are to build and sustain a secondary suicide prevention strategy by providing information on key diffusion variables for encouraging the adoption of an effective diagnostic screening tool into the West Virginia clinical health care environment.

          Elyce A. Biddle, PhD                                                                                    Stephen M. Davis, MSW, MPA   

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Recent Publications

  • Bamonti PM, Price EC, Fiske A. Depressive Symptoms and Suicide Risk in Older Adults: Value Placed on Autonomy as a Moderator for Men but Not Women. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 2014 Apr;44(2):188–99.
  • Barker E, O’Gorman J, De Leo D. Suicide around public holidays. Australas Psychiatry. 2014 Apr;22(2):122–6.
  • Baus N, Fischer-Kern M, Naderer A, Klein J, Doering S, Pastner B, et al. Personality organization in borderline patients with a history of suicide attempts. Psychiatry Research. 2014 Apr 5;218(1–2):129–33.
  • Carter MW, Reymann MR. ED use by older adults attempting suicide. The American Journal of Emergency Medicine. 2014 Jun;32(6):535–40.
  • Conner KR, Bossarte RM, Lu N, Kaukeinen K, Chan G, Wyman P, et al. Parent and child psychopathology and suicide attempts among children of parents with alcohol use disorder. Arch Suicide Res. 2014 May;18(2):117–30.
  • Della-Giustina D. Murder by Electrocution. Professional Safety. 2014 Jan;59(1):26–26.
  • Ersal T, McCrory JL, Sienko KH. Theoretical and experimental indicators of falls during pregnancy as assessed by postural perturbations. Gait & Posture. 2014 Jan;39(1):218–23.
  • Hu B, Shan X, Zhou J, Ning X. The effects of stance width and foot posture on lumbar muscle flexion-relaxation phenomenon. Clinical Biomechanics. 2014 Mar;29(3):311–6.
  • Konda S, Tiesman HM, Hendricks S, Gurka KK. Non-robbery-related occupational homicides in the retail industry, 2003–2008. Am J Ind Med. 2014 Feb 1;57(2):245–53.
  • MacMillan HL, Wathen CN. Children’s exposure to intimate partner violence. Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2014 Apr;23(2):295–308, viii–ix.
  • Myers DJ, Nyce JM, Dekker SWA. Setting culture apart: Distinguishing culture from behavior and social structure in safety and injury research. Accident Analysis & Prevention. 2014 Jul;68:25–9.
  • Nimbarte AD, Zreiqat M, Ning X. Impact of shoulder position and fatigue on the flexion–relaxation response in cervical spine. Clinical Biomechanics. 2014 Mar;29(3):277–82.
  • Rockett IH, Kapusta ND, Coben JH. Beyond suicide: Action needed to improve self-injury mortality accounting. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Mar 1;71(3):231–2.
  • Rudisill TM, Zhao S, Abate MA, Coben JH, Zhu M. Trends in drug use among drivers killed in U.S. traffic crashes, 1999-2010. Accid Anal Prev. 2014 Sep;70:178–87.
  • Stack S. Differentiating Suicide Ideators from Attempters: Violence-A Research Note. Suicide & Life-Threatening Behavior. 2014 Feb;44(1):46–57.  
  • Walker RL, Salami TK, Carter SE, Flowers K. Perceived Racism and Suicide Ideation: Mediating Role of Depression but Moderating Role of Religiosity among African American Adults. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2014 Apr 1.
  • Zhu M, Cummings P, Zhao S, Coben JH, Smith GS. The association of graduated driver licensing with miles driven and fatal crash rates per miles driven among adolescents. Inj Prev. 2014 Feb 13.

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