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Title: Challenges in profiling Australian scuba divers through surveys.
Austin Authors: Lippmann, John;Taylor, David McD ;Stevenson, Christopher;Williams, Joanne W
Affiliation: Divers Alert Network Asia-Pacific, Ashburton, Victoria, Australia
Department of Emergency Medical Research, Austin Health, Heidelberg, Victoria, Australia
Department of Medicine, Melbourne University, Victoria
School of Health and Social Development, Deakin University, Melbourne
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2018 2018-03-31
Publication information: Diving and hyperbaric medicine 2018; 48(1): 23-30
Abstract: This study aimed to compare the results from three Australian scuba diver surveys. As the surveys differed in recruitment methods, the expectation was that respondents would differ in some important characteristics. Anonymous, online, cross-sectional surveys of the demographics, health, diving practices and outcomes were distributed to: (1) Divers Alert Network Asia-Pacific (DAN AP) members; (2) Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Asia-Pacific members; and (3) divers who had received any PADI non-leadership certification within the previous four years. Only data from divers resident in Australia were analysed. A total of 2,275 responses were received from current Australian residents, comprising 1,119 of 4,235 (26.4%) DAN members; 350 of 2,600 (13.5%) PADI members; and 806 of 37,000 (2.2%) PADI divers. DAN and PADI members had similar diving careers (medians 14 and 15 years, respectively). PADI members had undertaken more dives (median 800) than DAN members (330) and PADI divers (28). A total of 692 respondents reported suffering from diabetes or a cardiovascular, respiratory, neurological or psychological condition and included 34% of the DAN members and 28% of each of the PADI cohorts. Eighty-four divers had been treated for decompression illness (approximately 5% of DAN and PADI member groups and 1% of the PADI divers). Eighty-seven of 1,156 (7.5%) PADI respondents reported a perceived life-threatening incident while diving. Despite low response rates, this study indicates clear differences in the characteristics of the divers in the three cohorts. Therefore, a survey of a single cohort may represent that diving population alone and the findings may be misleading. This bias needs to be clearly understood and any survey findings interpreted accordingly.
PubMed URL: 29557098
ISSN: 1833-3516
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Cardiovascular
Fitness to dive
Health surveillance
Recreational divers
Scuba divers
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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