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RESEARCH AND EVALUATION PROJECTS

Why implementation science is important for drowning prevention intervention design and evaluation

Year / 2022 - Present

Project Status / Current (working on Phase 1)

Ethics Approval / Will be sought prior to practitioner and research interviews in early 2023.

Chief Investigators / Malena Della Bona (PhD candidate). Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Justine Leavy, Dr Gemma Crawford, Dr Jonine Jancey.

Brief Overview / This research aims to produce a conceptual implementation framework for drowning prevention interventions in HIC. 
The objectives are to: 

  1. Explore the role of implementation science in drowning prevention interventions within HIC.

  2. Explore factors required for quality implementation of drowning prevention interventions in HIC.

  3. Design an implementation framework for drowning prevention interventions in HIC.

  4. Trial an implementation framework for drowning prevention interventions in HIC.

  5. Synthesise findings and provide recommendations for appropriate implementation of drowning prevention interventions in HIC.

Project Impacts and Outputs / To support practitioners in the development and implementation of evidence-informed interventions in the real-world, this research aims to develop a conceptual implementation framework suitable for drowning prevention interventions in high-income countries (HIC).

During Phase 1, the literature will be explored through a systematic review. Practitioner and researcher interviews will be used to explore the real-world perspectives on the implementation of drowning prevention interventions. In Phase 2, the Framework will be drafted and refined by experts including drowning prevention practitioners, researchers and implementation scientists, using Delphi techniques. The Framework will be tested with drowning prevention practitioners in Phase 3, ensuring its acceptability and feasibility for end users. Systems for monitoring the Framework’s ongoing use will be developed and the final Framework will be disseminated during the final research phase.

The final product will enable those developing drowning prevention interventions to cross-reference their program design ensuring best practice implementation. This will go some way to answering the call to action in a global and Australian setting to address gaps in knowledge and build a base for the use of research in drowning prevention practice.

RLSSWA Parent Ambassador Review

Year / 2021-2022

Project Status / Completed.

Ethics Approval / Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee (HR2021-0665).

Chief Investigators / Dr Justine Leavy (Curtin University), Dr Gemma Crawford (Curtin University),
Ms Malena Della Bona (Curtin University).

Brief Overview / To better understand the role of ambassadors as a public health strategy in the drowning prevention context, an evaluation of the RLSSWA Keep Watch Parent Ambassador Program is being undertaken. The review forms part of a suite of evaluation initiatives undertaken by the Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health (CERIPH) at Curtin University. This review will explore the Ambassadors' lived experience and the organisational impact of the program.

In depth, semi-structured interviews will be conducted with current and former Parent Ambassadors and RLSSWA staff.

Objectives / The aims of the Keep Watch Parent Ambassador Program evaluation is to explore:
• the impact of using ambassadors and their stories as part of drowning prevention; and
• the journey towards becoming a Parent Ambassador (lived experience).

Read the Participant Information Sheet here

Funding / This research is being funded by RLSSWA and run independently by Curtin University. RLSSWA receive their funding from the Department of Health WA.

Project Impacts and Outputs / This review will give consumers meaningful involvement into research, which enhances community control. In addition, it will be used to inform future Royal Life Saving Society WA intervention strategies that utilise ambassadors; as well as adding to the limited public health literature identifying the experience of ambassadors and its impact on the individual and organisation. 

Exploring water safety amongst older adults

Year / 2019-2020

Project Status / Completed.

Ethics Approval / Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee.

Chief Investigators / Ms Meg Abercromby (Curtin University), Dr Justine Leavy (Curtin University), Ms Gemma Crawford (Curtin University), Ms Lauren Nimmo (Royal Life Saving Society WA).

Brief Overview / Aquatic activities are common in Australia, for both the purpose of recreation and physical activity. Increasingly, older people participate in aquatic activities in and around the water and often migrate close to aquatic locations during retirement; with this comes an increased risk of drowning. Research suggests a range of factors may influence the risk of drowning in this age group such as pre-existing medical conditions, medication and/or alcohol, and restricted mobility. 

Objectives / This study aimed to explore factors associated with drowning amongst adults aged 65 years and older in Western Australia.

The study sought to: 

  1. examine the heterogeneity of individuals who drown and identify population subgroups;

  2. gather target group perspectives on water safety and drowning prevention; and

  3. establish the content validity of a survey instrument to target individuals in this age group.

Funding / Student Research Project Grant, Curtin University, School of Public Health. 

Project Impacts and Outputs / Drowning is a largely preventable but neglected public health issue. This research set out to address a real-world concern for public health; drowning amongst adults aged 65 years and older. The findings from this mixed-methods study reflect the complexities of drowning prevention amongst this age group and highlight the need for strategies that address drowning amongst this target group. This study directly assisted the design of a new program adults 45+ years in WA. This study will also contribute to the sparse body of literature that addresses drowning prevention as an important public health issue.

Publications / UNDER REVIEW

Presentations and Posters / The following presentations are listed in chronological order: 

Reaching the hard to reach: exploring young people’s knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours regarding alcohol consumption and aquatic activity. Oral Conference Presentation. International Union of Health Promotion & Education Conference 2019, Rotorua, New Zealand.

Go hard or go home: exploring young people’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviours regarding alcohol consumption and aquatic activity. Oral Conference Presentation. World Drowning Prevention Conference 2019, Durban, South Africa.

Linked Activities / The following outputs are in chronological order:

'Keep Watch' around water: short-term impact of a Western Australian population-wide television commercial

Year / 2019-2020

Project Status / Completed.

Ethics Approval / Approved by the Curtin Human Research Ethics Committee.

Chief Investigators / Mr Michael Casten (Curtin University), Dr Justine Leavy (Curtin University), Ms Gemma Crawford (Curtin University).

Brief Overview / Drowning remains the leading cause of preventable death for children under five years of age. The biggest drowning threat facing families with toddlers is unexpected, unsupervised access to water. To lower the risk of drowning and other water-related injuries to children, close and constant supervision is essential. 

Objectives / The aim of this study was to examine awareness, comprehension, acceptance and intention of two new Keep Watch television commercials aired in Western Australia during the summer of 2017/18.  

Project Impacts and Outputs / This study is one of few water safety media campaigns to provide insights into awareness, comprehension, intention and acceptability of mass-media campaigns to prevent drowning. The research suggests traditional media, such as TV commercials continues to play an important role in drowning prevention particularly in increasing awareness of how to keep children safe in and around water.

Publications / The following presentations are listed in chronological order: 

'Keep watch' around water: short-term impact of a Western Australian population-wide television commercial. Michael Casten, Justine Leavy, Gemma Crawford. Journal of Public Health. 

World Health Organization Mentor-VIP (Violence Injury Prevention) Project

Year / 2019-Present

Chief Investigators / Ms Malena Della Bona, Dr Tessa Clemens

Brief Overview / The World Health Organization’s MENTOR-VIP (Violence Injury Prevention) is designed to assist junior injury practitioners develop specific skills through structured collaboration with a more experienced person who has volunteered to act as a mentor. The program provides a mechanism to match demand for technical guidance from some people with offers received from others to provide technical support. Malena and her mentor, Dr Tessa Clemens from the Drowning Prevention Research Centre, Toronto, Canada have been working on a scoping review of migrant terminology to inform best practice when reporting drowning cases in Australia.

RLSSWA Talent Pool Evaluation

Year / 2020-Present

Ethics Approval / UNDER REVIEW

Chief Investigators / Ms Meg Abercromby (Royal Life Saving Society WA), Ms Lauren Nimmo (Royal Life Saving Society WA).

Brief Overview / Launched in late-2018, Talent Pool is a RLSSWA initiative that focuses on youth engagement, training and employment. The program positions the local community swimming pool as the vehicle to engage and develop first-time employment opportunities for Aboriginal youth across Western Australia.

By adopting an asset-based community development methodology, RLSSWA actively engage young people and key community stakeholders to foster a statewide network of swimming pools. These partnerships provide opportunities for young people to become pool lifeguards, swim teachers and pool managers. 

Objectives / The evaluation will aim to:
1.   measure the increase in participation and employment of young Aboriginal people in the aquatic industry as a result of the program.

2.   gather feedback from program participants and key stakeholders on the effectiveness of the Talent Pool program;
3.   assess changes in participants' self-esteem and confidence;
4.   identify strengths and weaknesses of program delivery and areas for improvement; 
5.   capture the voices of key stakeholders to understand the impact and/or value of public pools and its influence on regional and remote communities.

Funding / This program is funded by Department of Communities. 

Project Impacts and Outputs / There is a significant gap in the number of outcomes (such as health, employment, and literacy) between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Australia. In recognition of this, RLSSWA are working to improve health and employment outcomes for Aboriginal people. Physical activity and sports programs play an important role in improving outcomes for Indigenous communities. Evaluating such programs is vital to ensuring long-term program uptake and success in Aboriginal communities. By integrating evaluation into RLSSWA practices, we aim to improve and evolve practices to better participant and community experiences and outcomes as well as ensure program effectiveness and cultural appropriateness. 

In the news / The following media releases are in chronological order: 

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