177496 Barell Matrix - was it a successful enterprise? (a 5 year review)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Limor Aharonson-Daniel, PhD , emergency Medicine, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Ramat Efal, Israel

The Barell Matrix was built in order to simplify and unify the process of selecting diagnostic codes to describe an injury.

Five years after its publication, this abstract reviews the literature for matrix applications to evaluate its success.


"Pubmed" and "Google-scholar" were used to search for "Barell Matrix". Results were examined to ensure matrix was significant to contents then sorted by various characteristics of matrix use. Data was entered into a Microsoft-excel worksheet and analyzed by SPSS15.


40 qualifying papers had been identified between 2002-2007. Thirty-five (87.5%) had been in peer reviewed journals. Annual number of publications increased from 3 in 2003 to 10 in 2007.

65% were epidemiological, 15% were methodological papers. Matrix was used both for selection and for classification of cases.

Epidemiological papers reported studies of - traffic, school, sport, and occupational injuries. Other studies included injury in special populations such as children with Autism, mental retardation and pregnant women. Several reports of economic assessment based on matrix categories were recorded. One methodological manuscript proposed using the matrix as the basis for severity measures. A similar ICD-10 based matrix was constructed for injury mortality data.

CDC, a supporter of matrix creation, is using it in routine reports. The State and Territorial Injury Prevention Directors Association (STIPDA) incorporated the matrix in their recommendations for systematic analysis of hospital discharge data.


The Barell Matrix is gradually gaining stability and popularity in injury research.

Nevertheless, there are issues that remain to be addressed for future enhanced utilization.

Learning Objectives:
To bring the audience up to date on the current state of application of the Barell matrix in injury research worldwide. To enhance matrix use by presenting useful applications that will raise awareness to the potential scope of this tool and encourage new users to try it. To discuss open methodological questions in order to promote further research in this field. To recognize the potential benefit attainable by an increase in the use of the Barell matrix.

Keywords: Injury Prevention, Methodology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: it presents research I carried out myself and is motivated solely by scientific interest.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.