Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

CSDE Fellow/Alumni Presentations

Risk markers for intent-specific firearm injury in arrest and medical records: A Seattle case-control study

Brianna Mills, Research Scientist, Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center

02/09/2018
12:30-1:30 PM PT
121 Raitt Hall

The burden of firearm injury in the United States involves more than 120,000 injuries per year to individuals across all demographic categories. Although the circumstances that lead to assault-related, self-inflicted, unintentional, and legal intervention firearm injuries are markedly different, several risk factors (substance use, mental disorder, and involvement with the criminal justice system) may be associated with multiple types of firearm injury. These risk factors are themselves interrelated in complex ways. We examined these interrelated factors together in order to help identify individuals at risk of intent-specific firearm injuries, and to identify interactions with law enforcement and medical professionals that may be appropriate settings for future interventions. By probabilistically linking Harborview Medical Center and Washington State death records from 2010-2014 to statewide hospitalization and arrest records dating back to 2008, this study generated an integrated picture of documented prior contacts with the criminal justice and medical systems for firearm injury patients, including fatal and non-fatal injuries of all intents, and compares two-year diagnosis and arrest histories of intent-specific firearm injury cases to unintentionally-injured motor vehicle collision (MVC) passenger controls. We sought to understand how patterns of arrests and substance use, depression, psychosis, and conduct disorder diagnosis prior to firearm injury may serve as risk markers distinguishing intent-specific forms of firearm injury.


Formerly a CSDE Fellow, Brianna Mills is now a Research Scientist at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, working on a variety of projects related to the prevention and treatment of injury and trauma. Her work is focused on maximizing the value of administrative data, research methods, and spatial patterns of injury. Brianna has a PhD and Certificate in Demographic Methods from UW, and a MA in Anthropology from Brandeis University.