Therapeutic recreation at camp : a Delphi study identifying important elements
Means, Wayne T.
MetadataShow full item record
For many individuals with disabilities, camp offers intentional recreational activities designed to meet specific goals. These camps utilize the Therapeutic Recreation (TR) process that typically includes assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation. While research continues to report the benefits campers experience (see Michalski, et al., 2003), there is a gap as to what elements are responsible. The purpose of this study was to identify the most important elements of TR when applied to residential summer camps for individuals with disabilities. To identify these elements, this study utilized a panel of experts (n=8) through a Classic Delphi approach. These experts, mean of 16 years of experience as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists and 12 years at camp, initially identified 29 elements. Subsequent rounds of the Delphi provided ratings and definitions of the elements and explained why they are specifically valuable at camp. Statistical analysis identified nine elements as most important: Planning, Evaluation, Socialization, Implementation, Staff Qualifications & Competency Assessment, Management, Prevention, Safety Planning, and Risk Management, Program Evaluation & Research, Quality Improvement. Identifying key elements is critical in developing a framework for future research as well as justifying TR service and prioritizing which elements should be considered when creating a TR camp program.