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Impact of a Pilot Adaptive Sports Intervention on Residents at a Skilled Nursing Facility

Leandra A. Bedini, Laura E. Kelly, Kate McKenzie, Kathryn L. Mitchell


The purpose of this pilot study was to measure the im-pact of an adaptive sports intervention on several out-comes including the components of self-determination (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness), loneliness, and mobility for residents of a skilled nursing facility (SNFs). This study employed a physician-prescribed, 4-week adaptive sports intervention specifically adapted for the residents of a SNF. The program was administered by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists® (CTRS), and facilitated six participants in weekly practice (basket-ball, baseball, golf, shuffleboard) and competition against residents in other local facilities. This mixed-methods study employed pre-test/post-test outcome evaluation using the UCLA Loneliness Scale, Basic Psychological Needs Satisfaction Scale (BPNSS) (competence, autono-my, relatedness), Timed Up and Go Test, as well as struc-tured qualitative interviews. Results of this study showed improvements for all participants across most or all cog-nitive, physical, emotional, and/or social domains and all measures showed positive movement. Results also sug-gested improvements in identity, belonging, importance, and the potential for transfer of these benefits to greater social engagement, lower fall risk, and decreased depression. Practical recommenda-tions are provided. In addition, replication and expansion of this design is warranted. 

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Adaptive sports; long-term care; older adult; recreation therapy; self-determination; skilled nursing facility

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