Administrative perspectives of recreational therapy services in North Carolina

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Laura E. Harkins (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Leandra Bedini

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to survey key supervisory staff at North Carolina health care facilities to (a) identify the existence and competitive positions of recreational therapy (RT) services, and (b) understand the rationale driving health care facility decisions related to the provision of RT programs to their clients. The sample comprised 419 participants who were predominantly Caucasian, females, and administrators between the ages of 46-55. Relevant literature and the consensus of selected recreational therapy and non-recreational therapy professionals assisted with survey development. The survey included items to determine the existence of RT services, knowledge and perceptions of the RT profession, competitors, and cost-benefit rationales. The researcher designed facility demographic questions relating to primary facility type, primary level of care, age group served, bed size, facility funding sources, facility billing, and being CMS regulated. In addition, respondent demographic questions addressed job title, gender, age group, and race. Data collection procedures were influenced by principles outlined by Dillman (2000) to maximize the potential for an appropriate response rate. The web-based survey was implemented through an online surveying tool, SurveyMonkey. Mailed surveys were manually entered into the SurveyMonkey database. Data were exported from SurveyMonkey into Microsoft Excel files, which was transferred into the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences© version 18.0 for data analysis. Five treatment services were evaluated in this study: activity services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy and RT. In comparison to the other treatment services, RT received the lowest responses for service benefit, service familiarity, being a usual part of the interdisciplinary team and utilized service. All treatment services exhibited some level of competition toward RT with activity professionals identified as the largest competitors for LRTs. Respondents perceived activity professionals having the most overlap with LRTs and the least amount of difficulty to perform a LRTs job. Other barriers to having a LRT on staff were related to budget and a perceived lack of need for services at facility. Conclusions and implications of this study are included, as well as recommendations for future research and practice.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2010
Allied health professions, Health care administration, Occupational prestige, Perceptions, Recreational therapy, Therapeutic recreation
Recreational therapy.
Health services administration.
Medical personnel.
Medical care $z United States.
Primary Health Care.

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