A new study that looks at scuba diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy’s approach to supporting military veterans with psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) finds that diving has benefits beyond those found in other forms of sporting rehab exercise.
The study was carried out by Petra Walker in conjunction with Hanna Kampman of the Posttraumatic Growth Research Unit at the University of East London. The researchers used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), a qualitative methodology that examines the experiences of participants and has been used in previous studies of Post-traumatic Growth (PTG) in para-athletes.
Walker is an experienced diver herself and was exploring the well-being aspects of scuba diving as part of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology when she came across a previous study on Deptherapy. Past studies have mainly focused on the medical aspects of diving, so the opportunity to examine the mental health side of rehabilitative scuba diving was impossible to ignore.
The full study is currently embargoed until it is published at a future date in an academic journal, but it follows similar academic research into Deptherapy’s work by the University of Sheffield Medical School in 2018 and the University of Nottingham in 2019.
According to Deptherapy Chairman Richard Cullen:
“This evidence-based study demonstrates yet again the value of scuba diving and, in particular, the support provided by Deptherapy to severely traumatised people within the Armed Forces community. We await the publication of the detailed findings which we anticipate will be of considerable interest to all organisations who seek to assist in the rehabilitation of veterans through sporting activity, as well as the Scuba Diving world.”