Personal security alarms for the prevention of assaults: A systematic review

Research Institution / Organisation

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Principal Researcher

Dr Phil Edwards

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

November 2015

Research Context


Personal security alarms may send a deterrent message to potential offenders, while also increasing personal confidence and decreasing fear of assaults.


To conduct a systematic review of the effect of personal security alarms in reducing assaults.

Research Methodology

Search Strategy

We will search 23 electronic databases including:

  • Cochrane Library;
  • Ovid MEDLINE(R) Embase Classic + Embase (OvidSP);
  • CINAHL Plus (EBSCO);
  • PubMed;
  • PsycINFO (OvidSP) PsycEXTRA;
  • Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts (ProQuest) (1987 to current);
  • ERIC;
  • ProQuest Criminal Justice; Criminal Justice Abstracts (EBSCOhost);
  • Psychology and Behavioural Science Collection (EBSCOhost);
  • Social Policy and Practice (OvidSP) Sociological Abstracts;
  • Dissertations and theses online (UK and Ireland).

We will search the websites and publications for additional reports and other grey literature.


Selection Criteria

Study designs eligible for inclusion will be randomised controlled trials, interrupted time series and controlled before-after studies that assess the impact of personal security alarms on assaults.


Data collection and analysis

We will screen studies for inclusion, extract data from full text reports, and assess the methodological quality of included studies. The primary outcome will be physical assaults (recorded or self-reported). Secondary outcomes will include time off work, depression; increased confidence or self-efficacy in violence prevention (recorded or self-reported). We will seek data from the included studies on mechanism, moderators, implementation and economics, including costs of providing the intervention. We will report study outcomes and calculate standardised results based on the information available in each study.

Interim reports and publications

‚ÄčNot available

Date due for completion

October 2017
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