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Treated recreational water facilities, including swimming pools and water play parks, have often been implicated in infectious disease outbreaks. Addressing this problem is complex due to the multiple and interrelated factors contributing to outbreaks in these settings. These factors may relate to inappropriate behaviours of users and operators, lack of and inconsistent regulation of these facilities, insufficient facility maintenance, and problems associated with the design of these facilities. Given the complexity of this issue, we argue that the Socio-Ecological Model (SEM) provides a useful framework to help identify the multi-level influences and factors that have implications for designing interventions to prevent this public health problem, whilst assisting in guiding future research in this area. We apply the SEM to the current literature to help identify the influences and factors contributing to infectious disease outbreaks in treated recreational water facilities to support this argument. We also identify several gaps in the existing research that would benefit from further examination to help prevent infectious disease outbreaks in treated recreational water facilities such as public swimming pools and water play parks. © The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email:


Lauren Cullinan, Louise Dunn, Sarah McLean, Enzo Palombo. Waterborne disease outbreaks in treated recreational water facilities: a Socio-Ecological Model perspective. Health promotion international. 2022 Jun 01;37(3)

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PMID: 35853153

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