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Date Permissions Signed


Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Health and Human Development

First Advisor

Brilla, Lorraine R., 1955-

Second Advisor

Suprak, David N. (David Nathan)

Third Advisor

Buddhadev, Harsh H. (Harsh Harish)


Decompression stops upon ascent of a dive help to decrease the likelihood of developing decompression sickness in divers. The purpose of this study was to compare the actual versus the recommended dive profiles of compressor fishermen in the Dominican Republic to explore the occupational risk associated with decompression sickness that these fishermen endure. For this study, 10 male diver fishermen from Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic self-reported their diving profiles including the dive depth, the time spent at that specific depth, the duration of ascent, and the surface interval between repeat dives, for each dive conducted in a single workday. The depth and duration of each dive was then entered into V-Planner dive decompression planning software to calculate the decompression needed for safe diving profiles. Each dive was graphed using depth and time, and the area under the curve for the actual and recommended diving profiles was calculated. The total dive time (294.3 ± 101.9 min actual and 524.7 ± 170.57 min recommended), total decompression time (10.4 ± 3.75 min actual and 244.4 ± 153.36 min recommended), and the area under the curve (16204.7 ± 5609.6 depth*time actual and 21368.1 ± 9030.8 depth*time recommended) between the actual and recommended diving profiles were significantly different (p=0.001). Analysis of the effect size for these differences showed a large effect size for the diving time (d=1.556) and for the decompression time (d=2.046), and medium effect size for area under the curve (d=0.676). The results of this study indicate that there is a significant reduction in decompression time in the actual diving profiles of fishermen compared to a safe diving profile, putting the divers at a risk of developing decompression sickness.




Decompression Sickness, Compression Fishing, Dominican Republic, Decompression, Fishermen


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Divers--Health risk assessment--Dominican Republic--San Fernando de Monte Cristi; Decompression sickness--Dominican Republic--San Fernando de Monte Cristi; Deep diving--Risk assessment--Dominican Republic--San Fernando de Monte Cristi; Fisheries--Economic aspects-- Dominican Republic--San Fernando de Monte Cristi

Geographic Coverage

San Fernando de Monte Cristi (Dominican Republic)




masters theses




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