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Student Perceptions of Therapeutic Recreation: An Exploratory Study

Mary Patricia Dwulit


The current study was the result of a student research project that took place over two semesters, and it was guided by the course textbook, Experience Research Social Change  (Kirby, Greaves, & Reid, 2010). The purpose of this study was to examine how students in allied health programs at a college in Canada viewed therapeutic recreation (TR). The research question guiding this study was, “What perspectives do health care students at Douglas College have of recreation therapy?” A community-based research approach was applied to collect data from four allied health classes using qualitative questionnaires. Of the 134 recruited, 100 students agreed to participate. Five distinct themes were discovered including 1) Awareness of TR, 2) Perceptions of the Role of a Recreation Therapist, 3) Perceptions of Work Settings, 4) Perception of Positive Effect on Society, and 5) Perceptions of Interdisciplinary Knowledge of TR. This study indicated that participants had positive perceptions of TR and greatly valued recreation and leisure both personally and as an intervention tool.

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Recreation Therapy; Therapeutic Recreation; Allied Health; Holistic Health care; Perceptions; Healthcare Professionals; Wellness

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