New Publication – Personality as a predisposing factor for DCI: A pilot study

As you may have read in my short biography (home page), I have had a long interest in the psychology of SCUBA diving. I have undertaken a couple of projects in this area and this is one of those. The work was part of my MSc in Psychological Research Methods, undertaken at the University of Plymouth, and sponsered by the Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC).

Krug Chamber at DDRC (

At the time I did not intend to write it up for publication in a peer review journal, but following some positive feedback from Academics, Specalist Diving Physicians and Researchers, and the Editor of a Journal, I grasped the thistle.

Below is the abstract from the article accepted for publication by ‘Diving and Hyperbaric Medicine‘, which is ‘The combined journal of the South Pacific Underwater Medicine Society’ and the ‘European Underwater and Baromedical Society’. The paper will be available in the next edition of the journal (October 2008). I hope you find it of interest and I look forward to discussing the work with anyone who wants to get in touch.

Personality as a predisposing factor for DCI: A pilot study

Authors: Sam Harding & Phil Gee

This study aimed to identify differences in personality characteristics related to Decompression Illness (DCI) in recreational SCUBA divers. A matched control group of 9 divers (without DCI) and research group of 9 divers (with DCI) were recruited. Following a chamber dive (control group), or post-treatment for DCI (research group), three psychometric scales; Locus of Control (LoC), Sensation Seeking Scale, and Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire – Revised (EPQ-R) were administered together with a Diving History Questionnaire and questions on motoring. One significant difference was identified and lay between engine sizes, with those experiencing DCI having cars with larger engines (p < .01). The data were inconsistent with previous research that suggested a relationship between sensation seeking and risk taking. Further research is needed to elucidate the relationship between diving injury and personality.

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