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Title:A Study to Determine the Continuing Professional Development Needs of Therapeutic Recreation Specialists Employed in Mental Health Settings
Author(s):Coffey, Fran
Department / Program:Leisure Studies
Discipline:Leisure Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Abstract:The problem of this study was to determine continuing professional development needs of therapeutic recreation specialists employed in residential psychiatric settings. The four subproblems were: (1) To identify and verify the actual tasks performed by therapeutic recreation personnel; (2) To identify and verify the functional skills needed to perform tasks; (3) To determine which skills can be identified as training needs; and (4) To determine if training needs are associated with importance of the skills, agency type, education level, and primary role.
To accomplish this, a three part study was designed. Pre-study procedures were required to identify a sample of full-time therapeutic recreation personnel employed in psychiatric facilities. Stage one was designed to determine tasks performed by therapeutic recreation specialists and skills necessary to perform those tasks. Stage two yielded data regarding the therapeutic recreation specialists perceptions of the need to acquire the skills through continuing professional development.
Pre-study procedures identified 144 full-time therapeutic recreation specialists employed in residential psychiatric settings. These specialists represented 37 mental health agencies.
Stage one resulted in identification of 58 tasks representing responsibilities of therapeutic recreation specialists employed in residential psychiatric facilities. Further analysis revealed 161 skills necessary to accomplish the tasks. They included: 44 clinical skills, 28 therapeutic recreation specific skills, 27 administrative skills, 24 supervision skills, 23 communication/intervention skills, and 15 training skills.
Stage three results yielded conclusions regarding both pre-service education and continuing professional development. Pre-service education results suggested that: (1) The tasks identified during stage two can serve as guides for curriculum development; (2) The skills derived from the tasks can be viewed as competencies necessary for individuals delivering therapeutic recreation programs in psychiatric settings; (3) Pre-service education should present concepts related to clinical and communication/intervention skills (i.e., treatment planning techniques, motivating clients, etc.).
Continuing professional development findings indicated that: (1) Individuals without formal preparation may need training in entry-level clinical and communicative/intervention areas; and (2) Individuals who provide direct client service and supervisors may need training in communication/intervention skills.
Issue Date:1983
Description:287 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1983.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8324530
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1983

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