Use of Evidence-Based Practices in Recreational Therapy for Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder Recovery: A Descriptive Study of Current Practices


  • Natalie Montoya Clemson University
  • Brent Hawkins University of North Carolina Wilmington
  • Jasmine Townsend Clemson University
  • Stephen Lewis Clemson University



Evidence-based practice, mental health, recovery, recreational therapy, schizophrenia spectrum disorder


Schizophrenia spectrum disorder (SSD) represents a group of complex and chronic psychotic disorders affecting approximately 10.7% of the global population. Even though there is no cure for SSD, most symptoms can improve with active treatment. Effective interventions include pharmaceuticals and psychosocial treatments such as recreational therapy (RT). RT can provide effective and efficient care to individuals with SSD by grounding interventions in evidence-based practices indicated in the Mental Health Recovery Model (MHRM), as well as utilizing recommendations by the Schizophrenia Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT). A cross-sectional survey was used to identify awareness and utilization of MHRM principles and PORT recommendations in RT services for individuals with SSD. Data from 126 surveys completed by recreational therapists who currently or have previously provided treatment for individuals with SSD indicated discrepancies in awareness and utilization of MHRM principles and PORT recommendations. Implications for RT practice are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Natalie Montoya, Clemson University

Natalie Montoya, MS, CTRS is a practicing Recreational Therapist for Behavioral Health.

Brent Hawkins, University of North Carolina Wilmington

Brent L. Hawkins, PhD, CTRS, Associate Professor of Recreation Therapy, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina .

Jasmine Townsend, Clemson University

Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS is an Assistant Professor of Recreational Therapy at Clemson University.

Stephen Lewis, Clemson University

Stephen Lewis, PhD, CTRS is a Senior Lecturer of Recreational Therapy at Clemson University.





Research Papers