Recreational Therapists Consider Leisure Motivation when Evaluating Virtual Reality Games




leisure motivation, motivation, recreational therapy, therapy, virtual reality


Virtual reality (VR) interventions can be motivating for clients when presented as treatment in healthcare settings. Researchers know little, however, about the elements of specific VR games that contribute to this motivation. This study aimed to describe differences among a sample of commercially available VR games using the four subscales of the Leisure Motivation Scale (LMS). The research team used a mixed-methods design, and compiled an expert panel of recreational therapists (N = 5) who evaluated eight VR games using Q-sort methodology. Semi-structured interviews generated additional data for the evaluation. Results indicated participants viewed certain VR games as containing elements more closely aligned with each of the LMS subscales of intellectual, social, competence-mastery, and stimulus avoidance than others. These findings represent a critical step in developing guidelines for the purposeful selection of VR games as treatment interventions in recreational therapy practice based on a client’s leisure motivation. Subscribe to TRJ

Author Biographies

Lauren Lee Isaacs, University of Utah

MS, TRS, CTRSPh.D. CandidateDepartment of Occupational and Recreational Therapies

Rhonda Nelson, University of Utah

Ph.D., MTRS, CTRS, MT-BC, FDRTAssistant ProfessorRecreational Therapy Program DirectorDirector of Graduate Studies, Recreational Therapy

Stephen Trapp, United States Department of Veterans Affairs

Ph.D.Psychological ScientistClinician