American Journal of Recreation TherapyAbstracts
American Journal of Recreation Therapy ®


American Journal of Disaster Medicine

Journal of Opioid Management

Opioid Management Society
Opioid Education Programs

Journal of Neurodegeneration & Regeneration

Activities Directors' Quarterly for Alzheimer's & Other Dementia Patients

American Journal of Recreation Therapy

Journal of Emergency Management

Healing Ministry

Advertising information

Subscription information

Reprint information

Manuscript submission

Current table of contents

Contact information

American Journal of Recreation Therapy
Winter 2008, Volume 7
, Number 1

Guest editorial. Opening students’ minds and hearts to the world without leaving home
David B. Jones, EdD, CTRS
Winter 2008; pages 5-6

Therapeutic recreation interventions for older adults and their caregivers
Nancy E. Richeson, PhD, CTRS; Maridith A. Janssen, EdD, RTC/CTRS; Cathi McMahan, PhD, CTRS; Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, CRC; Linda L. Buettner, PhD, CTRS, LRT
Winter 2008; pages 7-9

The purpose of this article is to share the findings from the therapeutic recreation panel that recently disseminated their research at the 60th annual Gerontological Society of America, November 16th through November 20th, in San Francisco, CA. The panel examined the influence of therapeutic recreation interventions on older adults and their caregivers.

An investigation of the influence of vicarious experience on perceived self-efficacy
Mandy Marion Boyd Harrison, PhD; Francis A. McGuire, PhD, CTRS
Winter 2008; pages 10-16

Perceived self-efficacy is an indicator of maintenance, effort, and performance of various behaviors, including recreation therapy activities. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of one of the sources of efficacy information, vicarious experience via modeling, and to enhance efficacy beliefs of at-risk youth who are participating in a therapeutic adventure activity. Additionally, this study investigated the influence of activity specific efficacy perceptions on both self-regulatory self-efficacy (SRSE) and perceived performance in the specific activity. Results indicated that groups who observed a model demonstrate rock climbing during ground school had significantly higher rock climbing self-efficacy and SRSE after their rock climbing experience than the group that did not. In light of this research, it is apparent that providing a model is an effective tool that can be used to assist recreational therapists in offering effective programs. Key words: modeling, perceived self-efficacy, rock climbing, vicarious experience

Evidence supporting exercise interventions for persons in early-stage Alzheimer’s disease
Linda Buettner, PhD, CTRS, LRT; Nancy E. Richeson, PhD, CTRS; Fang Yu, PhD; Sandy C. Burgener, APRN-BC, FAAN, PhD; Kathleen Coen Buckwalter, PhD, RN, FAAN; Elizabeth Beattie, PhD; Ann L. Bossen, MSN, RN; Donna M. Fick, PhD, APRN-BC; Suzanne Fitzsimmons, MS, APRN-BC; et al.
Winter 2008; pages 17-24

The purpose of this article is to grade research evidence supporting exercise-based interventions for persons with early-stage dementias and to report the recommendations of a consensus panel. The search produced 11 databased articles testing the effects of exercise interventions on a variety of outcomes. The body of evidence to support exercise interventions in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is growing and has potential as a treatment modality following translational studies in recreation therapy and other fields. Key words: Alzheimer's, early stage, exercise

The outcomes of therapeutic dance movement on physical and emotional functioning for elderly people
Li-Jung Lin, MS; Elizabeth McClear, CTRS; Carla E. S. Tabourne, PhD, CTRS
Winter 2008; pages 25-34

The purpose of this study is to explore the outcomes of therapeutic dance movement on physical and emotional domains for elderly people measured by the functional fitness assessment for adults elder than 60 years, Life Satisfaction Scale, and interview. The authors recruited eight volunteers who attended the dance program for 90 minutes per week and seven volunteers who did not attend but were in the same daycare unit. The interview data substantiated that therapeutic dance movement helped the elders maintain their physical functioning ability and reduced the fear of falling, but the results showed no statistical evidence of significant difference between the group-attended elders and the group-unattended elders. Additionally, the group-oriented dance program effectively helped elders to maintain their social network via talking intelligently and interacting smoothly. Key words: elders, therapeutic dance movement, senior day care

Comparison of two physical activity interventions on the physical fitness for informal caregivers
Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, CRC; Pei-Chun Hsieh, MS; Danielle Pernell, BS, CTRS
Winter 2008; pages 35-41

Physical activity is known to improve components of physical fitness such as strength, flexibility, and endurance. Informal caregivers often provide intensive care to their relatives or friends, which may require a moderate level of physical fitness. However, intervention studies with caregivers have not focused on improving the fitness of caregivers. Therefore, data from two studies were compared to determine the influence of yoga and mall-walking on the physical fitness of informal caregivers. The findings indicate that yoga provided the most physical fitness benefits, while mall-walking provided some benefits, and that caregivers with no intervention experienced the most decrements in physical fitness over an eight-week time period. Key words: caregivers, fitness, walking, yoga

Establishing peer supervision programs for recreation therapy specialists
David B. Jones, EdD, CTRS; Barbara R. Harvey, MEd, MS, LCPC, CTRS
Winter 2008; pages 42-48

Clinical supervision has been shown to advance professional competency and optimal client care. In the field of recreation therapy, practitioners often work in isolation or in small departments, making clinical supervision difficult to actualize. The authors offer a peer supervision model as a mechanism to operationalize clinical supervision for recreation therapists. This article provides an overview of peer supervision, including a definition and goals. An example of a peer supervision model is presented. Various roles within a peer supervision group are identified. Key words: clinical peer supervision, recreation therapy

American Journal of Recreation Therapy
Spring 2008, Volume 7
, Number 2

The Syracuse University Fitness Center at Marshall Square Mall: A benchmark for accessibility
Joseph D. Lore, MS
Spring 2008; pages 5-8

The Department of Recreation Services at Syracuse University has continued to meet the needs of its diverse campus population, providing a variety of programs and services. On August 27, 2007, the first day of classes for the fall semester, it opened the fifth campus fitness facility equipped with state of the art exercise machines available to the entire university community. Unlike many fitness facilities at institutions of higher learning, the Syracuse University Fitness Center at Marshall Square Mall was developed to ensure easy and convenient access and use by individuals with disabilities. This document focuses on the planning and development of a master plan for the facility including steps to ensure the environment met and exceeded American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, providing for an all-inclusive fitness center. Key words: accessibility, American Disabilities Act, fitness

The use of groups as a therapeutic modality with individuals who are brain injured
Lynne Richard, MA, OT; Naama Jakobov, MS, OTR; Beth B. Sosowsky, MS, OTR; Miryam Leiser, MS, OTR
Spring 2008; pages 9-16

The use of groups as a treatment format with individuals with traumatic brain injury (TBI) was examined. A survey was constructed based on prior research, piloted, revised, and then sent to rehabilitation sites identified as Model Treatment Centers for individuals with TBI. The findings suggest that therapists (Recreational, OT, PT, and SLP) implement a variety of group types. Groups are used to address patient goals in the area of social and cognitive skills, self-awareness, and adjustment to disability and are generally used to complement individual therapy. Therapists cite work experience as preparation for leading groups and feel competent as group leaders. One third of the respondents prefer individual treatment and feel that there are barriers to implementing groups with this population. Implications for professional preparation and practice are discussed. Key words: group treatment, traumatic brain injury

The Center for Life Skills: An interdisciplinary learning laboratory for allied health students
Janice Elich Monroe, PhD, CTRS; Susan Durnford, MS, CCC-SLP; Melinda Cozzolino, OTD, OTR; Ellie L. Buckley, MS, PT; Catherine Gooch, MS, CTRS
Spring 2008; pages 17-18

More and more RT/TR programs are creating learning laboratories for students to practice and explore real world issues. The following description outlines an exemplary interdisciplinary program at Ithaca College. We would love to have applied program descriptions for future issues and encourage readers to submit their ideas. Linda L. Buettner, PhD, LRT, CTRS

The impact of the “Stirrup Some Fun” therapeutic horseback riding program: A qualitative investigation
Steven Elliott, PhD; Janet A. Funderburk, PhD, LRT/CTRS; James M. Holland
Spring 2008; pages 19-28

Therapeutic horseback riding is an intervention utilizing horses in the treatment of individuals with emotional, cognitive, and/or physical disabilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate the perceived impact of a therapeutic riding program on children with mild to moderate physical and mental disabilities. Two groups of participants including five children (with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities) and at least one parent of each of the five children were interviewed to investigate the impact of the Stirrup Some Fun Therapeutic Riding Program (SSF TRP). Qualitative data analysis procedures were used to explore participants’ views and opinions of the SSF TRP. Several themes emerged from the interviews with the participants and their parents, including (a) enjoyment, (b) the child/animal connection, (c) social relationships with volunteers, (d) perceived physical benefits, and (e) the social and mental benefits of the program. Key words: Therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy, developmental riding, children with disabilities, therapeutic benefits, qualitative analysis

Determining the “other related duties” of therapeutic recreation and activity professionals: A pilot study
Jeffrey P. Witman, EdD, CTRS; Kirk S. Rakos, MEd, CTRS
Spring 2008; pages 29-33

Therapeutic Recreation (TR) professionals are increasingly being asked to perform "other related duties" beyond the traditional scope of their practice. This article presents a pilot study of TR practitioners in Pennsylvania designed to determine the nature of these other duties and respondents' perceptions of their impact. Findings suggest that professionals, on average, spend twenty percent of their work time on "other related duties." Specific duties include tasks in the areas of Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), agency-wide events, committee service, general duties, education/treatment, safety, and administrative duties. Respondents generally viewed these duties as making a positive impact on their job experience in a variety of contexts. The article concludes with implications for further research and for curriculum revision. Key words: culture change, other related duties, professional preparation, scope of practice

Effects of life review program on emotional well-being of Korean elderly with Alzheimer’s disease
Yongho Lee, PhD, CTRS; Carla E. S. Tabourne, PhD; Jaesub Yoon, PhD
Spring 2008; pages 35-45

Emotional well-being is an important aspect of health for individuals with Alzheimer's disease, and self-esteem, depression, and life satisfaction have been identified as factors that comprise emotional well-being. As individuals undergo physical and psychological change associated with aging process, they tend to review their lives to achieve a sense of well-being in an effort to compensate for loss due to aging process. It evidences in the literature that the life review program (LRP) is an effective therapeutic recreation intervention to increase emotional well-being of elders with Alzheimer’s disease. With 17 Korean elders with Alzheimer’s disease, the findings of the current study showed some significant effects on Korean elderly with Alzheimer's disease in their emotional well-being. Although long-term effects of the LRP were questionable, the LRP was effective to make a therapeutic change in emotional well-being of Korean elderly with Alzheimer's disease. Key words: Alzheimer's disease, emotional well-being, Life Review Program

American Journal of Recreation Therapy
Summer 2008, Volume 7
, Number 3

An intergenerational art program as a means to decrease passive behaviors in patients with dementia
Catherine A. Brownell, PhD, RN
Summer 2008; pages 5-12

This study evaluated the impact of participation in an intergenerational art program on the cognitive and emotional responses of adults with dementia. A secondary purpose was to capitalize on existing resources to engage the community in a rural residential care center. The responses of residents participating in a structured art program facilitated by high school students were compared with those offered an individual art activity. Four measures of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses were evaluated. No significant differences were found between the two groups; however, participation in the structured art project increased each session. Residents able to understand and respond to the art activity were likely to become engaged and show interest. Findings suggest that participation in activities at an appropriate functional level may penetrate the apathy and decrease the isolation seen with passive behaviors. Qualitative data revealed positive attitude changes among the high school students regarding older adults, nursing homes, and working with people with dementia. Key words: art activity, dementia, intergenerational, passive behavior

Understanding systematic reviews and their implications for evidence-based practice by examining aerobic exercise as a recreational therapy intervention for individuals with major depressive disorders
Catherine Coyle, PhD; Valerie Denault, BS; Rachel Miller, BS; Tan Pham, BS; Colleen Thomas, BS
Summer 2008; pages 13-22

This article reviews the need for and the process of conducting a systematic review of the research literature to guide intervention development and implementation in recreation therapy practice. Descriptive information of the process that was undertaken and the outcome that resulted from reviewing the research evidence for the use of aerobic exercise as a treatment for individuals with major depressive diagnosis is provided, along with practice and research recommendations for evidence-based practice that resulted from the systematic review. Key words: systematic reviews, evidence-based practice, depression, exercise, therapeutic recreation, recreational therapy

The effectiveness of prescribed recreation activity in decreasing biochemical stress and improving mood in alcoholic patients
Carmen Russoniello, PhD, LRT/CTRS, LPC
Summer 2008; pages 23-33

The purpose of this controlled study was to determine whether prescribed recreation activity (RA) could decrease stress and improve mood. The study involved 20 male and female participants who were in alcohol rehabilitation. Ten participants served as matched controls. Treatment consisted of three groups of RAs classified according to physical intensity or the amount of oxygen required to perform them. Prescribed RAs (RXA) lasted 20 minutes and included three intensity levels. Biochemical analyses were coupled with psychological changes to test the study hypothesis. Results of the study indicated that participation in the RXAs reduced depression in the experimental group when compared with the control. Overall mood as well as its subcomponents, anger, tension, depression, fatigue, and vigor scores improved after both the low intensity (RXA1) and moderate intensity (RXA2) interventions. RXA1 and RXA2 interventions also produced statistically significant reductions in cortisol, a biochemical marker of stress. It is, therefore, concluded that prescribed RAs can produce biochemical and psychological changes consistent with decreased stress and improved mood. The ability to evoke positive physiological and psychological changes by more natural and less addicting behaviors provides rationale for this type of intervention as a potential complementary and alternative medicine. The findings of this study underscore the importance of recreational therapy in the treatment of alcoholism and other stress-related medical disorders. Key words: stress, mood, alcoholism, recreational therapy, cortisol, prescribed recreation activity, complementary, alternative and behavioral medicine, depression

The recreation therapist and the pediatric therapeutic milieu
Rebecca Gilbert, MS; Marieke Van Puymbroeck, PhD, CTRS, CRC
Summer 2008; pages 35-39

Many recreation therapists on inpatient psychiatric units are familiar with the term therapeutic milieu. The meaning of the phrase is often vague and defined differently by each institution. The purpose of this article is to examine the literature on the therapeutic milieu and present possible methods of supporting the therapeutic milieu given the unique challenges of the pediatric acute inpatient unit. The role of the recreation therapist in creating and supporting a therapeutic milieu is described along with the suggestions for future research needs. Key words: inpatient, acute, child, therapeutic milieu, milieu therapy, therapeutic recreation, recreation therapy

Management of schizophrenia symptoms: Implications for recreation therapy
Chris M. Dixon, MSc
Summer 2008; pages 40-46

Effective interventions for the management of schizophrenia symptoms have been identified in the literature and have implication for recreation therapy. To prevent enduring negative symptoms that impact cognition, a high level of engagement in daily activity is recommended. Therapeutic interventions that show promise in reducing negative symptoms include participation in art, craft, music, and physical activity. To reduce high rates of distress and anxiety symptoms that exacerbate psychotic symptoms, animal assisted therapy, sensory experiences, and spiritual engagement were found to be effective. Early therapeutic intervention to rediscover a skill, talent, or hobby that establishes a sense of self and social identity may assist with reducing positive symptoms. Self-managed coping strategies such as distracting techniques may reduce auditory hallucinations. As positive symptoms reduce, a reduction of comorbid depressive symptoms may also occur. With reduction of negative and positive symptoms, as well as comorbid distress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, individuals have an increased opportunity to attain their social and leisure goals. Key words: schizophrenia, symptom management, recreation therapy

American Journal of Recreation Therapy
Fall 2008, Volume 7
, Number 4

Editorial Up the ante: Need for advanced roles for Geriatric Recreational Therapists for MDS 3.0
Linda L. Buettner, PhD, LRT, CTRS
Fall 2008; pages 5-9

Newsbriefs New administration’s plan to empower Americans with disabilities
Fall 2008; pages 10-18

Benefits for caregivers: Case reports distinguishing potential benefits to caregivers of individuals with early stages of Alzheimer’s disease participating in designed community-based recreation programs
Donna Lindenmeier, PhD; Tim Passmore, EdD, CTRS; Tyler Tapps, MS; Hugh Gibson, EdD; Yating Liang, PhD
Fall 2008; pages 19-26

This is a presentation of three case reports of the potential benefits of community-based recreation programs for individuals caring for others diagnosed with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease. Key words: Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, community-based recreation, early stages, therapeutic recreation

Perception of social context and activity following participation in a physical fitness intervention during residential adolescent addiction treatment
Marie Claire Van Hout, MSc, BA
Fall 2008; pages 27-43

The aim of this study was to assess perception of activity and social context scales1 of adolescent substance abusers following participation in a physical activity intervention during residential drug treatment. The sample was assessed on entry to treatment, on completion of treatment; six weeks postresidential treatment and six months after treatment using mean, standard deviation, and t-tests. In general, the overall mean scores for perception of social context increased from entry to completion of the treatment program, decreased six weeks post–treatment, and increased when six months in aftercare. Some significant difference was recorded between entry to treatment and six weeks post-treatment (p = 0.04). The results relating to perception of activity increased from entry to completion of the treatment program, increased at six weeks post-treatment, and decreased to six months in aftercare. Some significant differences were recorded between entry and six weeks post-treatment (p = 0.02), between completion of treatment and six months in aftercare (p = 0.03), and between six weeks post-treatment and six months in aftercare (p = 0.05). This research hoped to illustrate the potential of physical activity as alternative leisure pursuit following addiction treatment to help prevent relapse for adolescent substance abusers by reducing contact with other users and providing a healthy and positive social outlet. Key words: adolescent, addiction, treatment, therapeutic recreation, physical activity

Effect of animal-assisted therapy on engagement of rural nursing home residents
Brianne P. Martindale
Fall 2008; pages 45-53

Passivity is a major debilitating problem for nursing home residents. Reports show that anywhere from 24 to 90 percent of residents living in nursing homes exhibit passive behaviors, apathy, and functional decline due to inactivity. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects that animal-assisted therapy (AAT) has on the passivity, engagement, and mood of rural nursing home residents. Using a quasi-experimental design, researchers assigned 10 rural nursing home residents to AAT and 10 rural nursing home residents to traditional recreation therapy interventions. Each group received five, one-hour sessions during a span of six weeks. AAT was shown to significantly decrease passive behaviors and significantly improve mood. The traditional recreation therapy control group did show improvements but none were significant. Key words: animal-assisted therapy, engagement, passivity