Using Community-Based Research to Explore Common Language and Shared Identity in the Therapeutic Recreation Profession in British Columbia, Canada
Keywords:Therapeutic recreation, professional identity, language and values, community-based
AbstractTo date, very little peer-reviewed research on the therapeutic recreation (TR) profession has emerged from British Columbia (BC), Canada. The TR Research Network, a group of researchers and recreation therapists (RTs), adopted a community-based research approach to investigate the current state of TR in BC and to better understand common language and shared identity of diverse RTs in BC. Eighty-four (84) on-line surveys were gathered using Survey Monkey. Closed- and open-ended responses were coded numerically and thematically with the development of descriptive code books. Findings suggest that the profession in BC describes TR as “therapy,” uses clinical language to describe their work, and identifies with both humanistic and individualistic values. Research recommendations include bringing greater consistency to the language of TR, viewing research as the collaborative generation of practice-based evidence, and applying a strengths-based perspective to the ongoing professionalization of the field.
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