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Research snapshot

This research project is being undertaken by Ben Knowles as part of his PhD in Public Health.

The project asks the overarching question:

How can an emerging Outdoor Health (OH) sector ensure that practices are safe and ethical, and consistently deliver positive health and wellbeing outcomes in our changing world?

This question came out of an identified need, to better understand what is commonly done across diverse nature-based health practices, to ensure they are undertaken safely and ethically.

The study recognises how ‘safety’ and ‘ethics’ are considered in many different ways and often considered carefully by organisations and practitioners. The study will gather, compare and analyse knowledge about what is commonly done in this area.

It will contribute to foundational knowledge for the emerging outdoor health sector in this country.

Study design:

The study is a mixed methods convergent case study, which means that I am looking to compare:

  • what is done across a range of organisations to ensure the practice is safe; and,
  • what ethical questions or dilemmas are considered and how these are responded to in practice.

The study will collect both quantitative and qualitative data in a number of ways, from a range of perspectives including organisations, employees, groups of employees, organisation documents, website etc.

Get in touch to find out more: [email protected]. | 03 8547 9555

More information about participation

For details about what is involved in participating, see this page. We recommend getting in touch first to let us know you are interested and to discuss what parts of the research you are able to participate in.

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We are using outdoor health as an umbrella term for a broad range of related approaches that support human health and wellbeing. We use the term services, knowing that people may offer services, programs or other forms of support. These all share ‘nature’, ‘the outdoors’, or ‘country’ as a common feature. Some of the related approaches include bush adventure therapy, indigenous healing practices, therapeutic horticulture, outdoor counselling, forest therapy, ecotherapy, equine therapy and more. Read more…

Research Team

Dr Pauline Marsh – Health Science, Rural Health
Dr Dave Kendal – Geography, Spatial Sciences
Dr Jacob Prehn – Social Science, Social Work
Mr Ben Knowles – Health Science, Rural Health

Ethics approval

This study has been approved by the University of Tasmania Human Research Ethics Committee. If you have concerns or complaints about the conduct of this study, you can contact the Executive Officer of the HREC (Tasmania) Network on (03) 6226 6254 or email [email protected]. The Executive Officer is the person nominated to receive complaints from research participants. Please quote 25013.

Don’t want to continue participating?

No worries: email, call or use this link – it just pre-fills and email to us saying that you don’t want to keep participating. Feel free to edit the text, we just wanted to make it as easy to pull out as possible.

Email: [email protected] or call on 03 8547 9555

I no longer want to participate