Lessons learned at World Youth Day: Collecting data and using postcards at mass gatherings

Alison Hutton, Allison Roderick, Rebecca Munt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Introduction: World Youth Day (WYD) and its associated activities were held in Sydney, Australia from 15-20 July 2008. The aims of this research were to pilot the use of postcards at mass gatherings and to collect baseline data of how young people (age 16-25 years) identify factors that may affect their health and safety when attending mass gatherings.Hypothesis: The concerns of young people in relation to their health and safety at mass gatherings are poorly understood. It was decided that postcards would be an effective method of data collection in the mobile mass gathering environment.Methods: The research setting was the Pilgrim Walk at WYD. Participants on this walk were young people. To measure their health and safety concerns, a postcard was developed using a Likert scale to rank their attitudes on a continuum.Results: Young people stated that staying hydrated, having enough to eat, and being safe in a crowd were important to them. They also indicated that they perceived, overcrowding, getting to and from an event, and violent behavior as the greatest risks to their health and safety at a mass gathering.Conclusions: The problems with postcard distribution at a "mobile" mass gathering have been identified. Even so, results gathered showed that young people were focused on "in the moment" aspects of their health; such as access to food and water. They also had concerns for their safety due to potential overcrowding and/or violent behavior.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)273-277
    Number of pages5
    JournalPrehospital and Disaster Medicine
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • health
    • mass-gatherings
    • nursing research
    • postcards
    • young people


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