American Journal of Recreation Therapy 2023-10-23T10:41:32-04:00 Richard A. DeVito, Jr. Open Journal Systems <p><em><strong>American Journal of Recreation Therapy</strong> </em>is the unchallenged journal of record in the field and the gold standard for providing recreational therapists the latest research, techniques and advances in the use of recreational intervention.</p><p>Guided by Allison Wilder, PhD, CTRS/L and an internationally recognized editorial review board, <em><strong>American Journal of Recreation Therapy</strong></em>, in a seamless flow from theory to proven application, strives with each issue to help recreational therapists make recovery a reality for their patients of all ages and stages of disability.</p> Evolving beyond cultural competence and embracing cultural humility 2023-10-18T15:19:17-04:00 Rhonda Nelson Melissa L. Zahl Steven A. Bell Jamie R. Bennett <p>Equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) initiatives are receiving heightened attention in the higher education and healthcare arenas. Such endeavors often emphasize the importance of using current best practices for developing individual and agency-wide EDI-promoting skills, attitudes, and beliefs. The Recreational Therapy (RT) profession has a history of supporting EDI initiatives, frequently focusing on ways students and therapists can develop cultural competence and become culturally competent practitioners. However, in reviewing current EDI literature, trends, and practices, we have concluded it is time for a paradigm shift in the profession. We call upon our RT colleagues to evolve beyond a focus on cultural competence and embrace EDI efforts that promote cultural humility.</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy Volume 22, Number 1 2023-10-18T15:40:12-04:00 American Journal of Recreation Therapy <p>-</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy “It is easier to express yourself through art”: A qualitative exploration of recovery through expressive arts 2023-10-18T15:23:48-04:00 Grace Williamson Sayani Paul Mary Chiu Dean Christidis Julie Murray <p>Objective: Expressive arts (EA) is associated with positive experiences for those who engage in them. This study explores how PeaceLove, a structured EA program, contributes to personal recovery and well-being.</p> <p>Design: We used a qualitative inquiry to gain a multifaceted perspective of personal recovery through participation in PeaceLove program.</p> <p>Setting: This study was conducted at one of the four standalone specialty psychiatric hospitals in Ontario—Canada’s most populous province. The 346-bed hospital offers a range of specialized mental health services to those living with complex and serious mental illness, including adolescent, adult, forensic, and geriatric patients.</p> <p>Main outcome measure(s): Four focus group interviews were conducted with 16 individuals with chronic mental health conditions to explore how PeaceLove promoted their personal recovery goals.</p> <p>Results: The mean age of participants was 44 years with 56 percent being female. Analysis revealed four interconnected themes—self-discovery, recovery, art as a medium of expression, and a sense of well-being—contributing to participants’ personal recovery journey.</p> <p>Conclusion: The study findings highlight the benefits of EA on individuals’ personal recovery and recommend recreational therapists to use EA as a “recovery tool” to support individuals in their recovery journey.</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy An egocentric social network analysis of individuals with spinal cord injuries attending a medical specialty camp 2023-10-18T15:28:55-04:00 Kamryn C. Cushway Shay Dawson <p>Social connectedness may be a barrier for people with disabilities and can vary based on diagnosis. People with traumatic spinal cord injuries (SCIs) pose a unique perspective to this concept as they have, at one point, lived as an individual without a disability. This study examined individuals with a range of duration and severity of injury, evaluating how attendance at a disability-specific summer camp may affect participants’ social networks. This study applied an egocentric social network analysis to better understand the alters these individuals go to for important matters in their lives. Through the completion of an adapted version of the Health and Important Matters Social Network Battery, the responses of 14 research subjects were recorded and analyzed. This study found that many of the participant’s social networks consisted of friends and family with whom they had built friendships with prior to their injury. This finding was contrary to previous research findings, indicating that it would be likely that networks would consist of multiple individuals from the medical specialty camp. The findings serve as a guide to help better understand the diverse social networks of people with traumatic SCIs with implications to recreational therapy practice.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy Effect of cardio drumming on stress and self-esteem in an inpatient psychiatric hospital 2023-10-18T15:31:59-04:00 Jessica M. Herwig Vanessa E. Gennaro Andrew S. Layne Chizimuzo (Zim) T.C. Okoli <p>Background: Individuals living with serious mental illnesses have profound rates of stress and often poor self-esteem, which may affect their inpatient psychiatric experience. Several interventions have been shown to decrease stress and improve self-esteem; however, few of these interventions have been examined within the inpatient psychiatric setting. Cardio drumming is a novel, engaging full body aerobic intervention that can improve mental and physical health outcomes. The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of a cardio drumming intervention on stress and self-esteem among inpatients at a psychiatric facility. The specific aims of this study were to (1) examine the effectiveness of cardio drumming on stress levels and self-esteem scores among psychiatric inpatients and (2) assess demographic differences in stress levels and self-esteem scores.</p> <p>Methods: A pilot study using a single group pre- and post-test design was conducted with a convenience sample of 64 adult psychiatric inpatients obtained from a 239-bed state psychiatric facility in Kentucky. The cardio drumming intervention consisted of five routines, which is followed by stretching and cool down movements lasting 45 minutes. Participants’ ratings on stress and self-esteem before and after the intervention were obtained. Paired sample <em>t</em>-tests were used to assess changes in the stress and self-esteem scores.</p> <p>Results: Study participants were mostly male (84.4 percent) and White non-Hispanic (81.3 percent), had a psychotic disorder diagnosis (51.6 percent), and were 36.9 (standard deviation [SD] = 13.5) years of age on average. The mean stress levels of the sample decreased from 2.97 (SD = 1.86) to 1.95 (SD = 1.41), t [63] = 4.30 (p &lt; .0001), before and after the intervention. In a similar fashion, the mean self-esteem scores increased from 3.94 (SD = 1.72) to 4.69 (SD = 1.59), t [63] = 4.11 (p &lt; .0001), before and after the intervention. The decreases in stress scores and increases in self-esteem scores were higher in male participants compared to female participants. Furthermore, the decreases in stress scores were greater among those with a psychotic disorder compared to those without.</p> <p>Conclusion: Our findings suggest that cardio drumming may be an appropriate intervention to consider as part of recovery-based programing within the inpatient psychiatric setting to improve stress and support self-esteem for patients. Future studies may examine gender and diagnostic differences in the experience of cardio drumming among patients living with serious mental illnesses.</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy Development of an evidence-based telehealth curriculum to increase happiness for older adults in long-term care: A therapeutic recreation concept design 2023-10-18T15:36:30-04:00 Alyssa Doughty Jenn Taylor Lori Ann Eldridge <p>Older adults are at higher risk for isolation, loneliness, and depression. The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL) Happiness Project: Evidence-Based Curriculum for Older Adults is designed to empower older adults in long-term care to increase happiness in their everyday lives. This curriculum is designed to implement a virtual, intergenerational service-learning in long-term care facilities to provide students applied experience working with older adults. The UWL Happiness Project is a 10-week, evidence-based curriculum grounded in positive psychology and utilizes the PERMA Model, a theory of well-being. It consists of ten 30-minute telehealth meetings with a university student (using a 1:1 format) enrolled in a therapeutic recreation (TR) elective course focusing on older adults. Sessions include a focus area each week related to increasing resident’s overall happiness. Scaffolding is used to build residents’ knowledge about happiness and encourage continuous implementation of the skills learned during as well as after the curriculum is finished, ultimately working toward the resident putting the information and happiness strategies into practice independently. All session protocols, theoretical foundation, and assessments can be found in the curriculum fidelity manual that is available open access on the UWL TR webpage.</p> 2023-10-23T00:00:00-04:00 Copyright (c) 2023 American Journal of Recreation Therapy