Project Information

Project title
To characterise the influences of a wilderness experience on the individual health and wellbeing among tour guests on Fraser Island
Researcher(s)
Miss Belinda Warren, Honours Research Student at University of the Sunshine Coast. Supervised by Dr Anne Neller and Dr Ron Neller
Completed Bachelor of Science (Public Health) in 2004.
Project dates
Commenced February 2005
Anticipated completion November 2005
Nature of the project
Thesis component of Honours Degree Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Brief description:

The research questions are:

  1. What are the direct and indirect influences of a wilderness experience on the health and wellbeing of tour guests on Fraser Island?
  2. Is the degree of health benefit derived from a wilderness experience on Fraser Island associated with:
    1. Level of pre-existing health status
    2. The length of the wilderness experience
    3. Level of social capital/interaction experienced among group members

The aim of the study is to characterise the influences to individual health and wellbeing among tour guests after being exposed to a wilderness experience. The study population will consist of guests on 1 and 3-day tour groups traveling on Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia. This study will utilise survey methodology to collect data on self-reported measures of health and perceptions of health and wellbeing influences, and take the form of a self-administered questionnaire. The Personal Wellbeing Scale is just one of the instruments that are included in the questionnaire. Following on from the survey, participants will have the opportunity to engage in a discussion with the researcher, if they wish to do so.

This study will yield valuable information about how tour guests perceive their experiences and their own health, of which very little information previously exists. This may then be used to guide management decisions regarding activities on the island and may also be used to inform park management strategies. This study will aid in a clearer understanding of the influential factors that are impacting on our health and wellbeing when in natural environments.