Chapter 1.

How to use VINCENTweb


Welcome to VINCENTweb: Violence and Injury Control through Education, Networking and Training on the World Wide Web! This course provides a broad introduction to the problem of injury in the United States, and presents a variety of strategies for injury prevention.

Injury is an enormous public health and social problem. Through this course, we would like to encourage you to participate in injury control activities at the local, state and national levels. Though there is a growing body of scientific knowledge about injury and strategies for prevention, injury prevention ultimately requires the collaboration of dedicated teams of individuals with different areas of expertise.

Although this course is not designed to give you the expertise to solve injury problems alone, it is intended to help you get started, to help you identify potential partners in prevention, and to help you consider useful steps in implementing an injury control effort. Even though injury prevention is a team effort, dedicated individuals have made a difference in this field. So can you!

Course Objectives

By the time you complete this course, you will be able to:

  1. Describe the nature and magnitude of injury from a national perspective.
  2. Describe the steps in a systematic approach to injury control and violence prevention at the community level, including:
    1. gathering and analyzing information;
    2. selecting a target injury problem and a target population;
    3. determining intervention strategies; and
    4. developing an implementation plan.

Course Instructions

This course is designed to take advantage of the medium on which it is presented - the World Wide Web.

You can navigate throughout this course just like you browse any other web page. Whenever you see a word, phrase, or picture that is
THIS COLOR, you can click on it to "link" to more information, resources, or related topics. On the bottom of every page there will be "links" to the next page, the table of contents, the resource page, the workbook, the questions and answers, and the Exit Page.

There are two ways that most people will want to use this web site. One way is to read the whole course from beginning to end. This is a good idea for people who are new to injury prevention and control and for people who want to take this course for continuing education units (CEUs) through SOPHE or UNC School of Public Health. To read the course this way, simply start at the first chapter (this one) and continue through until the end. If you leave the web site, be sure to remember where you left off so you can start there when you return.

People who are already experts in injury prevention and control and those who are not interested in CEUs may want to access the information on this web site somewhat differently. These people may want to look for specific topics or keywords that interest them from the course. Look at the outline at the top of each chapter to determine if there is information there that is of interest.

However you access the course, it is VERY IMPORTANT that you always exit through the Exit Page to get full credit for the pages you have read!

Course Contributors

VINCENT was initially offered by the University of North Carolina's Injury Prevention Research Center as a one-day videocourse at 180 learning sites across the country. The course was the product of collaboration among ten Injury Control Research Centers, as well as numerous other groups.

Health Communications Research Laboratory (HCRL) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill designed the World Wide Web version of this course that you are now using. Collaborators included the UNC Injury Prevention Research Center and the Center for Distance Learning in the UNC School of Public Health.

Speakers in this course come from North Carolina, Maryland, Oklahoma, and California. All are experienced professionals in injury control and share their knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm for injury prevention in this course. In addition, the course contains information about selected programs in North Carolina that have applied course concepts to community-level injury prevention.


This project was supported with funding from the UNC Chancellor's Task Force on Instructional Technology.

The original VINCENT videocourse was supported with funding from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), administered through the Association of Schools of Public Health (ASPH).

Click here for a list of VINCENT sponsors

Chapter 2. Why is Injury a Public Health Problem?

Table of Contents Q&A Workbook Resources Exit

Questions or comments: