Integrating and maintaining automated external defibrillators and emergency planning in community sport settings: a qualitative case study

Lauren V Fortington, Sheree Bekker, Caroline F Finch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: A voluntary State Government-led programme in Victoria, Australia â € Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program' ran from 2015 to 2019, broadly aimed at increasing access to automated external defibrillators (AEDs), together with a greater number of community members trained for management of medical emergencies. This study aimed to understand whether participating sport clubs/facilities had successfully integrated an AED and medical planning with other club/facility safety practices, 12 months after delivery of the programme. Methods: This was a qualitative case study of 14 sport clubs/facilities in Victoria, Australia in 2017, underpinned by the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework. We conducted observational audits of facilities (to locate AED placement, signage and other relevant location-specific factors) and semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with representatives of the clubs/facilities. Interview questions were designed to determine if and how the related, mandated emergency management programme was adapted for the long term (embedding), whether this aligned to ongoing organisational mission (active engagement), and whether or not it was still ongoing 6 months postinitial implementation (sustainability). Data were evaluated using qualitative descriptive methodology. For reporting, descriptive summaries of the audit were combined with interview data to contextualise and visualise the sport club/facility setting and key results. Results: Key issues identified were accessibility and visibility of the AED, with inadequate signage and challenges identifying an efficient location for access and storage. Most interviewees reported the AED and training were received with no further actions taken towards safety planning or integration with club/facility practice. Several challenges regarding remaining up to date with training and ensuring required routine checks of the AED take place were also raised. Conclusions: This study identified several challenges for community sport clubs/facilities in the implementation of an AED and medical planning programme, including where to store the AED, how to make its presence known to the community and how to integrate changes alongside other club/facility practices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEmergency Medicine Journal
Issue number10
Early online date16 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2020


  • cardiac arrest
  • first responders
  • planning
  • qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Integrating and maintaining automated external defibrillators and emergency planning in community sport settings: a qualitative case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this