If you don't measure it, you won't improve it: The advancement of recreational therapy through collaborative research


  • Jessie L. Bennett, PhD, CTRS
  • Jennifer Ann Piatt, PhD, CTRS
  • Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS
  • Jenn Taylor, MS, CTRS




collaboration, evidence-based practice, research


The purpose of this article is to describe the impact collaboration between recreational therapy (RT) researchers and practitioners can have on clinical outcomes and evidence-based practice. Although collaboration is not a new concept, few individuals develop partnerships designed to measure the clinical outcomes associated with RT. The primary reason collaborations are not developed is due to misconceptions from both the researcher and the practitioner on how the collaborative research process impacts direct client care. Furthermore, budget cuts, lack of time, and limited resources can make it challenging for successful collaborations to develop. This article will define collaboration, identify how collaborative partnerships advance the development of clinical outcomes, describe common challenges associated with successful collaborations between practitioners and researchers, and provide the seven steps used to accomplish a successful collaboration.

Author Biographies

Jessie L. Bennett, PhD, CTRS

Department of Recreation Management and Policy, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire

Jennifer Ann Piatt, PhD, CTRS

Indiana University, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Bloomington, Indiana

Jasmine Townsend, PhD, CTRS

Clemson University, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson, South Carolina

Jenn Taylor, MS, CTRS

Indiana University, Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Bloomington, Indiana


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How to Cite

Bennett, PhD, CTRS, J. L., Piatt, PhD, CTRS, J. A., Townsend, PhD, CTRS, J., & Taylor, MS, CTRS, J. (2017). If you don’t measure it, you won’t improve it: The advancement of recreational therapy through collaborative research. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 16(3), 7–15. https://doi.org/10.5055/ajrt.2017.0136




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