ENGLISH, Patricia_FINAL-29052023.pdf (6.94 MB)

An investigation into the risk management of pre-existing medical conditions to minimise fatal and non-fatal drowning incidents within Australian aquatic facilities.

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posted on 2024-04-22, 01:19 authored by Patricia English
Drowning is a leading cause of death and long-term disability in Australia with an increasing trend over the last decade, despite multiple preventative initiatives by leading industry organisations and Government agencies. Industry reports have identified various reasons for drowning which includes pre-existing medical conditions as a rising trend, particularly in the 65+ age bracket. The aim of this study was threefold: (a) to identify the types of pre-existing medical conditions (PEMCs) associated with the risk of drowning in public aquatic facilities; (b) to investigate the risk management practices of public aquatic facilities in Australia to minimise the risk of drowning; and (c) to identify perceptions of and barriers to managing the risks associated with PEMCs in these facilities. A survey with two versions for staff and patrons at public aquatic facilities was developed and pilot tested to identify and analyse the risk management practices implemented within the industry. The main findings demonstrated that most aquatic facilities (75.61%) had a risk management plan in place. However, many aquatic facilities (50.50%) did not use pre-exercise screening which is a standard of practice in the health and fitness industry to identify and implement strategies for individuals with a PEMC who may be at a higher risk of an adverse event due to exercise. Based upon these findings, several recommendations were made which include promoting the implementation of pre-exercise screening through professional development programs and revision of the industry training qualifications, standards, and guidance materials to include pre-exercise screening to improve the effectiveness of the risk management programs in public aquatic facilities. Keywords: drowning, pre-existing medical conditions, public aquatic facilities.



Central Queensland University

Open Access

  • Yes

Era Eligible

  • No


Dr Betul Sekendiz, Dr Brendan Humphries, Dr Elise Crawford

Thesis Type

  • Master's by Research Thesis

Thesis Format

  • Traditional

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