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Protocol for developing a mental imagery intervention: a randomised controlled trial testing a novel implementation imagery e-health intervention to change driver behaviour during floods
  1. Kyra Hamilton1,2,
  2. Jacob J Keech1,
  3. Amy E Peden3,4,
  4. Martin S Hagger2,5
  1. 1 School of Applied Psychology, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  2. 2 School of Psychology, Health Psychology and Behavioural Medicine Research Group, Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  3. 3 Royal Life Saving Society – Australia, Broadway, New South Wales, Australia
  4. 4 College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Queensland, Australia
  5. 5 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kyra Hamilton; kyra.hamilton{at}


Introduction Drowning due to driving into floodwater accounts for a significant proportion of all deaths by drowning. Despite awareness campaigns such as ‘If it’s flooded, forget it’, people continue to drive into floodwater. This causes loss of life, risk to rescuers and damage to vehicles. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate an online e-health intervention to promote safe driving behaviour during flood events.

Methods and analysis The study will use a 2×3 randomised controlled trial in which participants are randomised into one of two conditions: (1) education about the risks of driving into floodwater or (2) education about the risks of driving into floodwater plus a theory-based behaviour change intervention using planning and imagery exercises. The effect of the intervention on the primary outcome, intention to drive through floodwater and the secondary outcomes will be assessed using a series of mixed-model analysis of covariances.

Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee. Participants will review a study information sheet and provide informed consent prior to commencing participation. Results will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications, industry reports, media releases and at academic conferences. Deidentified data will be made publicly available following publication of the results.

Trial registration number ACTRN12618001212246.

  • flooded waterways
  • social-cognitive theories
  • driving
  • drowning
  • water safety
  • mental imagery

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  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Contributors KH, AEP and MSH conceptualised the study. KH, JJK and MSH designed the study. MSH will conduct the data analysis, and KH and MSH will interpret the findings. KH and JJK drafted the manuscript with revisions provided by AEP and MSH. All authors reviewed and approved the final manuscript as submitted.

  • Funding The study is supported by a Royal Life Saving Society—Australia and Menzies Health Institute Queensland industry partnership grant. MSH contribution was supported by a Finland Distinguished Professor (FiDiPro) award (Dnro 1801/31/2105) from Business Finland.

  • Competing interests AEP is employed by Royal Life Saving Society—Australia and affiliated with the College of Public Health, Medical and Veterinary Sciences, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia. Intervention development, data collection and analysis and interpretation of findings is conducted independent of author AEP and Royal Life Saving Society—Australia.

  • Ethics approval The study protocol was approved by the Griffith University Human Research Ethics Committee (GU ref no: 2017/895).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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