How Do Recreation Therapists Support People Living with Acquired Brain Injuries Across the Continuum of Care?: A Scoping Review and Narrative Synthesis


  • Christine Ausman Dalhousie University
  • Heather F. Neyedli Dalhousie University
  • Marie-Michèle Briere G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre
  • Courtney Stebbe G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre
  • Sarah A. Moore Dalhousie University


Therapeutic recreation, acquired brain injury, rehabilitation, recreation, leisure, recreation therapy


Acquired Brain Injuries (ABIs) affect a significant number of individuals in Canada each year, leading to various functional challenges and complex care needs. Interdisciplinary teams play a crucial role in addressing these challenges, with Recreation Therapy (RecT) emerging as a valuable addition to such teams. RecT focuses on using leisure, recreation, and play as tools to enhance the independence and quality of life of individuals with ABIs. Despite its potential benefits, there is limited academic literature on the specific role of RecT in ABI care. This scoping review follows the Joanna Briggs Institute methodology and PRISMA-ScR guidelines. Inclusion criteria encompassed a broad range of ABI patients, RecT concepts, care settings, and study designs. A comprehensive search strategy was applied to multiple databases, and data extraction and analysis followed a systematic approach. A total of 71 articles were included in the review, following a rigorous screening process. These articles were diverse in terms of study design, population served, and healthcare context. Data extraction focused on the role of RecT, assessments, interventions, and patient outcomes, categorized by the dimensions of health and well-being (SPECS – Social, Physical, Emotional, Cognitive, Spiritual). A narrative synthesis approach was employed to identify patterns and themes across the included studies. This scoping review provides a comprehensive overview of the existing literature on the role of RecT in the care of individuals with ABIs. It highlights the need for more explicit recognition of RecT contributions within interdisciplinary teams and the importance of further research to establish evidence-based practices. Understanding the impact of RecT on the health and well-being of ABI patients is crucial for optimizing their rehabilitation and quality of life.





Research Papers