Using Community-Based Research to Explore Common Language and Shared Identity in the Therapeutic Recreation Profession in British Columbia, Canada

Authors

  • Colleen J. Reid Douglas College
  • Anna Landy
  • Paloma Leon

Keywords:

Therapeutic recreation, professional identity, language and values, community-based

Abstract

To 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.

Author Biographies

Colleen J. Reid, Douglas College

Dr. Colleen Reid is on faculty in Therapeutic Recreation at Douglas College and is Adjunct Professor at Simon Fraser University. In her research she focuses on the social determinants of health, physical activity and inactivity, and community-based research. She has published several books and many scholarly journal articles in her teaching and research fields.      

Anna Landy

Anna Landy earned her Bachelor in Therapeutic Recreation from Douglas College and is a member of the BCTR Research Network.

Paloma Leon

Paloma Leon is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She earned her Bachelor in Therapeutic Recreation from Douglas College and is a member of the BCTR Research Network. In 2011 she received the Rachel Dobek Student Award in recognition of her academic and volunteering achievements.

Published

2013-07-01

Issue

Section

Qualitative Papers