Nevin Manimala Statistics

Peer-led training improves lifejacket wear among occupational boaters: Evidence from a cluster randomized controlled trial on Lake Albert, Uganda

PLoS One. 2023 Oct 20;18(10):e0292754. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0292754. eCollection 2023.


BACKGROUND: The burden of drowning among occupational boaters in low and middle-income countries is highest globally. In Uganda, over 95% of people who drowned from boating-related activities were not wearing lifejackets at the time of the incident. We implemented and evaluated a peer-led training program to improve lifejacket wear among occupational boaters on Lake Albert, Uganda.

METHODS: We conducted a two-arm cluster randomized controlled trial in which fourteen landing sites were randomized to the intervention and non-intervention arm with a 1:1 allocation ratio. In the intervention arm, a six-month peer-to-peer training program on lifejacket wear was implemented while the non-intervention arm continued to receive the routine Marine Police sensitizations on drowning prevention through its community policing program. The effect of the intervention was assessed on self-reported and observed lifejacket wear using a test of differences in proportions of wear following the intention to treat principle. The effect of contamination was assessed using mixed effect modified Poisson regression following the As Treated analysis principle at 95% CI. Results are reported according to the CONSORT statement-extension for cluster randomized trials.

RESULTS: Self-reported lifejacket wear increased markedly from 30.8% to 65.1% in the intervention arm compared to the non-intervention arm which rose from 29.9% to 43.2%. Observed wear increased from 1.0% to 26.8% in the intervention arm and from 0.6% to 8.8% in the non-intervention arm. The test of differences in proportions of self-reported lifejacket wear (65.1%- 43.2% = 21.9%, p-value <0.001) and observed wear (26.8%- 8.8% = 18%, p-value <0.001) showed statistically significant differences between the intervention and non-intervention arm. Self-reported lifejacket wear was higher among boaters who received peer training than those who did not (Adj. PR 1.78, 95% CI 1.38-2.30).

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that peer-led training significantly improves lifejacket wear among occupational boaters. The government of Uganda through the relevant ministries, and the Landing Site Management Committees should embrace and scale up peer-led training programs on lifejacket wear to reduce drowning deaths.

PMID:37862363 | DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0292754

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