Psychosocial aspects of scuba diving for people with physical disabilities: an occupational science perspective.

PURPOSE: This project investigated the psychosocial benefits of scuba diving for individuals with acquired physical impairments.

METHOD: In-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 3 volunteers recruited from a diving club specializing in training people with disabilities to dive. Qualitative methods were used to analyze the data in order to identify the themes recurring in the interviews.

RESULTS: The respondents indicated that diving is a challenging, enjoyable activity that enhances their quality of life through enriched social experiences and improved self-concept. Furthermore, subjects stressed that carrying out the activity in a buoyant environment allowed them to feel weightless, thus free from their impairments and equal to non-disabled divers.

IMPLICATIONS: The study highlighted the need to carry out further research in this field in order to gain better insight into the impact of scuba diving on the quality of life of people with physical impairments.