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What’s in a name? Exploring the preferred terminology of professionals in the field of recreation therapy

Angela J. Wozencroft, PhD, CTRS, Emily J. Kennedy, MS, CTRS, Angie N. Pihera, MS, CTRS


Although it is widely recognized within the field of Therapeutic Recreation/Recreation Therapy (TR/RT) that there is discrepancy involving terminology used to describe our field, there have been no professional studies focusing on this issue. This study examined professionals’ preferences surrounding terminology in the field of TR/RT. The data were collected through online discussion boards on the social networking site “Facebook” and analyzed using a qualitative analysis of the discussion responses. Of the 47 respondents, 10 members preferred the term Therapeutic Recreation to Recreation Therapy, and 22 preferred Recreation Therapy. In addition, there were 10 members who preferred a combination of the two terms and five others who did not express a preference. Among all of the responses, five themes were identified: 1) setting/service specific, 2) consistency with other allied health professional, 3) title related to certification, 4) unity, and 5) respect and credibility.


Therapeutic Recreation, Recreation Therapy

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