Injury related risk behavior – a study of Australian Skydivers
Risk taking behaviour has been identified as an important host-related determinant of injury in young adults. The aim of this study is to clarify the relationship between the two key elements of risk taking behaviour - ie, risk assessment and risk acceptance - in participants of a high risk sporting activity. Skydivers registered with the Australian Parachute Federation were sampled at several jump meetings held at three 'drop-zones' in North Eastern Australia. A cross sectional survey of 215 skydivers ascertained each subject's risk assessment of each of nine hypothetical sky diving scenes and whether or not they would jump in the described conditions. Variables which independently predicted an individual's risk assessment were age group (p<0.05), gender (p<0.05) and scene details (p<0.001). Risk assessment was found to be a statistically significant predictor of the decision to jump, with a 22% decrease in the odds of jumping with every unit increase in risk assessment (OR=0.78: 95% CI; 0.76, 0.80). Gender was also found to be a statistically significant predictor of the decision to jump, with males being 19% more likely to jump than females, after controlling for age, experience, currency and risk assessment (OR=1.19: 95% CI; 1.04, 1.38). The importance of these results is that, by quantifying the relationship between two key elements of risk taking behaviour and several important host factor determinants, they facilitate more informed discussion about the possible role of risk taking behaviour in the causation of injury.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport