Recreational Therapy Modalities for Treating Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: A Scoping Review


  • Em V Adams Doctoral student Clemson 2018
  • Wilmayra Hernández Lehman College
  • Nadja Gonzales Lehman College



Intimate partner violence; Recreational Therapy; domestic violence; sexual violence; trauma; therapeutic recreation; integrative health


The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the extant research on modalities that fall within the recreational therapy scope of practice. A systematic search of the literature was conducted following the PRISMA-ScR guidelines for scoping reviews. The original database search yielded 706 studies (with duplicates removed) and 22 studies were included in the final review. The scoping review included peer-reviewed intervention studies for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV), with the purpose of addressing the following research questions: RQ1: What recreational therapy modalities have been used and researched for treating survivors of IPV? RQ2: What are the primary health outcomes measured for of recreational therapy modalities for survivors of IPV? RQ3: What are the biggest gaps within the research? Types of modalities used included mind-body interventions, creative expression, and physically active leisure. Outcomes measured were primarily depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms. Future research directions include the need for interventions to be evaluated when run specifically in the recreational therapy context, the need for evaluation of current practices with intimate partner violence and trauma-informed care, and the need for more diverse sampling to establish culturally affirming interventions for people who identify as LGBTQIA+ or racial/ethnic minorities.


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