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Therapeutic Recreation for Long-term Care Patients

Gerard R. Kelly, Elaine McNally, Lillian Chambliss


The present study evaluates the impact of a therapeutic recreation program on the life satisfaction and activity level of hospitalized geropsychiatric patients. Sixty-one inpatients from a VA Medical Center were randomly assigned to participate either in a community recreation program for ten consecutive Saturdays or to engage in the regularly scheduled hospital program. Data from four observational instruments established a baseline of activities and confirmed that the study group's life satisfaction appears quite comparable to previously published reports.  While the results showed no significant differences among pre-post measures, the clinical staff who accompanied the recreation group reported many unsolicited patient responses indicating consistently high and uniform expressions of satisfaction throughout the trial period. A discussion clarifies how therapeutic evaluation procedures could be made more appropriate for a geropsychiatric population.


therapeutic recreation; long-term care; activity; life satisfaction

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