PhD Scientific Days 2024

Budapest, 9-10 July 2024

Health Sciences III.

Health outcomes of knife crime victims in the UK: Meta-analysis and systematic review


Illin Gani1
1: Institute of Applied Health Research

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Knife-enabled crime is a significant public health issue in the UK, causing profound societal impacts and increased healthcare strain. The lack of comprehensive studies on the long-term health outcomes of victims hinders development of interventions and public awareness.

Aims: This review aims to identify the long-term health outcomes of knife crime victims in the UK to inform a more effective public health response.

Methods: A comprehensive search strategy focused on study design, knife-related offences, outcomes, and risk. Databases searched included MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, ProQuest Criminology Collection, Web of Science Core Collection, Google Scholar, and OpenGrey. Two reviewers screened studies, with disagreements resolved by a third. We included all UK quantitative research on long-term health outcomes of knife crime victims. Quality and risk of bias were assessed using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomised Studies checklist and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Results: From 5630 records, 12 studies were included. Our meta-analysis of death cases from nine studies showed a 2.24% prevalence. The narrative synthesis highlighted several critical outcomes. The Injury Severity Score (ISS) and Manchester Triage Scale are essential for evaluating severity and prioritizing care. Mortality data showed the lethal nature of knife crimes. Morbidity outcomes revealed complex injuries like traumatic colorectal damage, with clinical symptoms and radiological findings guiding recovery, ranging from complete to long-term disability.

Conclusion: UK knife crime leads to severe physical injuries needing efficient triage, like through the Manchester Triage Scale. The broader psychological and social impacts remain underexplored. Future research should focus on these areas to fully understand and improve the comprehensive health consequences faced by victims, guiding more effective strategies.

Funding: This study was funded by Brian Kane.