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Recreational Therapy Archives

1954 JHPER: National Recreational Therapy Section News

[ archives page | Index | 1952 | 1953 | 1954 | 1955 | 1956 | 1957 | 1958 | 1959 ]

(Editor: Bernath E. Phillips from "52-'58)




Originally published in the January 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 1, page 46...

A Significant Development

For some time leaders in our field have been trying to better coordination and cooperation between the various professional organizations concerned with hospital recreation. Therefore, considerable significance must be attached to the tentative formation of a Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation at a meeting held at the National Education Association offices in Washington, D. C., in November.

Attending this meeting were two representatives each of the Hospital Section of the American Recreation Society, the National Association of Recreational Therapists, AAHPER's Recreational Therapy Section, and the National Office of the AAHPER. The Council, subject to the approval of participating groups, would consist of those attending the meeting, plus the Hospital Consultant to the National Recreation Association.

The purpose of such a Council would be to provide a structure enabling professional organizations having members performing recreation functions in hospitals and institutions to work cooperatively: (1) to raise standards, (2) to attack jointly common problems, (3) to solicit financial aid, (4) to keep participating groups informed of each other's activities, and (5) to explore the feasibility of eventually amalgamating the several groups having members performing recreation functions in hospitals.

The next Council meeting has been set for February 3, at the NEA headquarters.

Hospital Recreation Institutes

In May and October 1948, two two-week workshops in hospital recreation were conducted by the Veterans Administration in cooperation with, and at, the New York University.

In May 1950, the University of Minnesota, in cooperation with several agencies and professional associations, conducted a six-day National Institute in Hospital Recreation. In May 1953, the University of North Carolina conducted the three-day Southern Regional Institute in Hospital Recreation.

Two institutes now being planned promise to meet with the same enthusiastic response as have these. The School of Education, New York University, and the National Recreation Association are cosponsoring a Hospital Recreation Institute at the University January 25-27. The University of Minnesota has called a planning committee meeting for January 12 to finalize arrangements for its second National Institute in Hospital Recreation, to be held at the University's Center for Continuation Study, May 26-29.

The Purpose of Mental Hospitals

The following are quotes from Annual Report, 1952-53, of the Institute of Living in Hartford, Conn. "A word should be said here regarding the idea of private mental hospitals being 'country clubs' and 'resorts'...The idea springs in part from the difference in treatment required in mental disease, where nearly all of the patients are ambulatory and, of course, need various kinds of recreation and social and athletic therapy as ancillary treatment to the specific curative method indicated. This is in contrast to treatment requirements in a general hospital, where the stay is short and most of the patients are confined to bed. In other part, the idea is evidence of reaction of people to a mystery. There is nothing very mysterious about the mumps or a broken arm, but there is something mysterious about mania and melancholia and these illnesses still have moral implication in the minds of many...the fact remains that the populace fears mental disease, fails to understand it and hence is oblivious to the necessity of solving the problem by education and research."

Graduate Education at Minnesota

Fred M. Chapman, former state supervisor of Patients Program Services with the Minnesota Department of Public Welfare, was appointed in September 1953 as Assistant Professor to teach the hospital recreation courses and advise students specializing in this field at the University of Minnesota.

The graduate program leading to the Master of Education degree in Hospital Recreation was inaugurated at Minnesota in March 1950. Courses in descriptive psychiatry, medical science orientation, and medical information, which are offered in the School of Medicine, and an internship in a selected hospital, are among the curriculum requirements.

Originally published in the February 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 2, page 54...

JOURNAL References, 1951-53

For the information of those concerned, listed below are the articles pertaining to Recreation Therapy which have appeared in this Journal during 1951-53. Krumholz, Henrietta, "Archery for the Handicapped." May 1951. Veterans Administration Recreation Service Staff, "Hospital Recreation." May 1951. Rafuse, Janice, and Dorothy A. Oates, "Rehabilitation of the Handicapped Child." June 1951. Oliver General Hospital Staff, "We Prescribe Recreation." November 1951. Chance, Marion, "Opening Doors Through Dance." March 1952. AAHPER Committee on Adapted Physical Education, "Guiding Principles for Adapted Physical Education." April 1952. Phillips, B. E., "Hospital Recreation is Unique." May 1952. Taylor, Wiley W., "Those Who Can't See Need Physical Education Most." May 1952. Haun, Paul, M. D., "Recreational Therapy." June 1952. Brown, Richard L., "Swimming--Activity for the Handicapped." April 1953. Taylor, Thomas William, "The Unseen Target." June 1953. Berner, Leo, and Arthur Tauber, "Physical Education in Medical Practice." November 1953. Jansen, Richard B., "Recreation Helps Tuberculous Children." November 1953., "Recreational Therapy." June 1952. Brown, Richard L., "Swimming--Activity for the Handicapped." April 1953. Taylor, Thomas William, "The Unseen Target." June 1953. Berner, Leo, and Arthur Tauber, "Physical Education in Medical Practice." November 1953. Jansen, Richard B., "Recreation Helps Tuberculous Children." November 1953.


In the fall of 1953, Beatrice Hill joined the staff of the National Recreation Association as a special consultant on initiating recreation programs in civilian hospitals.

Howard A. Rusk, M. D., director, Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New York University School of Medicine, and associate editor, New York Times, has accepted an invitation to speak at the Recreation Division meeting of the joint National AAHPER and Eastern District Convention at the Hotel Statler, New York City, in April.

Dorothy Taaffe, reported December 7, 1953, as Recreation Consultant on the National American Red Cross headquarters staff in Washington, D. C., as the assistant to Lillian Summers, National Recreation Consultant. Miss Taaffe formerly was Recreation Supervisor, ANRC, U. S. Naval Hospital, St. Albans, Long Island, N. Y.

Have Fun...Get Well

The American Heart Association, 44 E. 23rd St., New York 10, has published a 39-page booklet Have Fun...Get Well. Although the booklet is directed primarily to young people and to parents whose children are ill with rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease, the specific suggestions contained therein can be helpful to all parents and convalescents. Copies may be obtained from the American or affiliated Heart Associations at 10Ę each.

Rehabilitation Therapy in Maryland

The State of Maryland Department of Mental Hygiene conducted its Third Annual Rehabilitation Therapy Aide Training Course at the Crownsville State Hospital, Oct. 9 to Nov. 10, 1053. The therapies now constituting the rehabilitation program are Occupational, Recreational, Music, Industrial, and Educational. R. K. Barnes, Jr., is the department's Director of Rehabilitation.

Second Southern Regional Conferences

Harold D. Meyer has indicated that the Second Southern Regional Conference on Hospital Recreation will be held at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill the first week in April 1955. The Second Southern Regional Conference on Recreation for the Aging will be held at the U. of N. C., Chapel Hill, April 4-7, 1954.

Originally published in the March 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 3, page 62...

RT Section Meeting

Tentative plans for AAHPER's Recreational Therapy Section Meeting to be held at the Hotel Statler in New York City April 21 include reports on the formation of the Council for the Advancement of Recreation in Hospitals, on plans for evaluation of the existing section title, and on the activities and plans of the Eastern District Section.

There will be panel discussions on hospital programs according to type of patients, and a general discussion on the conduct of hospital recreation, with special attention being given to the use of administrative devices. Election of new officers for the National and Eastern District Sections will take place. This meeting will be held in conjunction with the joint meeting of the AAHPER and its Eastern District.

Minnesota Institute

On January 12 representatives of the National American Red Cross, the Veterans Administration, and the University of Minnesota met to finalize plans for the University's Second Institute in Hospital Recreation. The institute will be held at the University's Center for Continuation Study, May 26-29.

Recognized leaders in the field will present papers and lead discussions on such topics as the history of hospital recreation, recreation in medicine, the supervision of professional and volunteer staff, management devices, and professional preparation and support; the problems associated with the conduct of recreation will be identified and analyzed by type of patient. Those desiring to participate in the institute should write to Fred M. Chapman, Assistant Professor, Division of Recreation Leadership, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 14.

A Surgeon Speaks on Recreation

In the section on Medicine of the January 18 issue of Time, famed Surgeon Sir Heneage Ogilvie offers a solution to the high toll of modern stress, which appears to contain sound philosophy upon which to base the conduct of hospital recreation.

Quoting from Time: "Said he: 'If we cannot relieve stress, we must break it somewhere in the chain...Only leisure can rehabilitate the over-stressed mechanism of the mind...But mere idleness is not the answer. The kind of leisure men need in a machine-age civilization is rather some spare-time task or occupation 'that makes some call on their intelligence and restores their self-respect, transforming them once more from cogs in a machine to men among men'."

Program Aids

The Recreation Program Service of the National Recreation Association Defense Services has published a 28-page Guide to Free and Inexpensive Publications on Recreation and Leisure. This guide is the first attempt to provide in organized form a list of such recreation publications. The list contains references on Active Games and Sports, Areas and Facilities, Arts and Crafts, Drama and Music, Home Recreation, Nature and Outing Activities, and Social Activities, as well as the names and addresses of the firms offering the publications.

NAMT Officers

During the Fourth Annual Conference of the National Association for Music Therapy, held last October 19-21, at the Kellogg Center for Continuing Education, Michigan State College, Mrs. Myrtle Fish Thompson, director of music therapy, Essex County Overbrook Hospital, Cedar Grove, N. J., was elected President.

Mariana Bing, staff member of the National American Red Cross, was elected editor. Continuing as members of the Executive Committee are Drs. Karl A. Menninger, Ira S. Altshuler, and John M. Anderson.

Newly elected committee members include the Past-President of the NAMT, E. Thayer Gaston, chairman, Music Education Department, University of Kansas, and Lenard Quinto, chief of music, Department of Medicine & Surgery, Veterans Administration.

RT in Michigan

The January 11 National Recreation Association Active Associate Membership Letter announces that the State of Michigan is seeking a "man or woman, to have charge of newly organized recreational therapy program in 1600 bed state hospital." Starting salary is $3,587.52 and applicants are asked to write the Personnel Officer, Caro State Hospital for Epileptics, Caro, Mich.

Originally published in the April 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 4, page 46...

Swimming for the Handicapped

J. Bertram Kessel, AAHPER consultant in recreation and outdoor education, has distributed to members of our section, among other materials, An Annotated Bibliography of Articles on Swimming for the Handicapped, from 1942 through 1951. This bibliography, prepared by Eleanor L. Wright, containing 12 good references, can be purchased from AAHPER for ten cents.

Dancing for Mental Patients

Recreation personnel employed in mental hospitals will want to read "Dancing Helps Patients Make Initial Contacts," by Marian Chace, director of music and the dance, St. Elizabeth's Hospital, Wash., D. C. The article appeared in the February 1954 issue of Mental Hospitals, monthly publication of the American Psychiatric Association, Mental Hospital Service.

California Recreation Institute

Mary K. Scales, VA Hospital, Long Beach, Calif., as Institute Chairman, has published a Summary of the Proceedings of the First Hospital Institute for Hospital Recreation Therapists, which the Hospital Section of the California Recreation Society held last fall at the VA Hospital, Long Beach.

The summary is 32 pages and covers such discussion topics as hospital recreation philosophy, motivation on a ward level, methods of evaluation, and swap-of-ideas clinic. It lists more than 60 professional participants from the southern California area.

New York Institute

More than 200 professional and volunteer hospital recreation leaders from various parts of the country met in January at New York University in a three-day Hospital Recreation Institute. Sponsored jointly by the National Recreation Association and the University School of Education, the Institute featured leaders in hospital administration, recreation philosophy, medicine, and education as speakers and panel discussion leaders.

Major topics covered included "Hospitals as Living Communities," "The Role of Recreation in Our Modern Hospitals," "How Recreation Meets Our Patients' Needs," "Professional Leadership in Hospital Recreation," "The Role of Recreation for Hospitalized or Institutionalized Senior Citizens," "Recreation, An Important Member of the Rehabilitation Team," " The Volunteer in a Hospital Recreation Program" and "The Hospital Administrators Look at Recreation." One highlight of the Institute was a demonstration of American folk dance by hospital patients in wheelchairs.

Originally published in the May 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 5, page 46...

Standards are Proposed

In January 1954, this column reported the formation and purpose of the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation. As its second meeting March 9 at the NEA offices in Washington, D. C., this Council drew up tentative standards for personnel employed in recreation for the ill and disabled in a medical setting.

The Council has emphasized that these standards are tentative and that they are subject to approval by the three professional groups represented on the Council, namely, the Hospital Section of the American Recreation Society, the National Association of Recreational Therapists, and the AAHPER Recreational Therapy Section.

The next meeting of the Council will be in November 1954, at which time it is planned to adopt officially these standards or modifications thereof, determine whether or not the Council should provide for the recognition of personnel meeting these standards and how this can best be done in fairness to all concerned.

The Council is proposing two sets of standards for those employed in recreation for the ill or disabled in a medical setting.

(1) For those entering the profession one of the following would be required:

A. Master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Hospital Recreation, Recreation in Rehabilitation, or Recreational Therapy; and one year full-time paid experience in recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting. (The required clinical experience for the Master's degree could be substituted for an equal portion of the full-time paid experience.)

B. Master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Recreation; and, two year's full-time paid experience in recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting.

C. Master's degree from an accredited college or university with a major in a professional field closely allied to Recreation and applicable in recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting; and, an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university with a major in Recreation, or its equivalent (24 college credits in professional courses in Recreation); and, two year's full-time paid experience in recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting.

(2) Those currently employed full-time in the profession would be required to have a combined total of seven years of academic training in a college or university and full time paid experience in recreation for the handicapped in a medical setting providing at least two of the seven years (60 college credits) represented study (regardless of the field of specialization) at an accredited college or university, and, at least three of the seven years represented full-time paid experience in a medical setting. Provision would be made for the evaluation of the credentials of those now employed in the field not able to meet either set of standards but whose outstanding competence and extensive professional experience should warrant special consideration.

The Council has emphasized that these standards are to be evaluated intensely before adoption. It has invited all interested individuals, professional groups and educational institutions to offer constructive suggestions for their improvement and/or utilization. This should be done either through the professional group with which the reader is affiliated; or, comments and suggestions may be relayed to the Council through your editor.

The standards will be discussed at early meetings of the three professional groups represented on the Council. Consequently, it is in the reader's interest as well as in the interest of the profession, for all to participate in this significant development by affiliating with and attending the meetings of any or all of these professional groups. In any event, be sure to inform the Council of your recommendation on this fundamentally important subject at the earliest possible date.

Therapeutic Recreation

Paul Haun, M. D., clinical director, Graylyn Hospital, Winston-Salem, N. C., at last year's National Recreation Congress in Philadelphia, presented a paper on "Recreation in the Total Hospital Program." The paper will be published in the Congress Proceedings. The following quote seems to express much of Dr. Haun's philosophy:

"There was a time before Pasteur and Lister when surgeons operated with bare hands and uncleansed instruments. Post-operative infections were practically universal and doctors, making a virtue of inevitability, spoke wisely of benign fevers and laudable pus. Today sterilization of the operative side is as much a part of surgical routine as the use of a scalpel in making the initial incision. No one argues that an antiseptic used for this purpose relieves the patient's symptoms, modifies the surgical pathology or cures the disease. No more can it be denied that as a direct consequence of antisepsis patients in countless thousands who would formerly have died are today restored to health and usefulness. I like to think of recreation in similar terms as an important means of increasing the effectiveness of therapy. While not curative in itself, it helps create the milieu for successful treatment. An apprehensive, a resentful or a despondent patient is a chancy patient therapeutically. What is better calculated to allay concern, dissipate animosity or lighten sadness than friendship, generously offered, in the setting of a shared pleasure?"

Originally published in the June 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 6, page 42...

New York Convention Meeting

Nearly 100 members attended the joint meeting of the national and Eastern District Recreational Therapy Sections, held in New York, April 21, in conjunction with the AAHPER Convention. The proposed Recreational Therapy (Hospital Recreation) standards recently developed by the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation were discussed, elections of officers were held, the section title was retained in its present form, and your Editor led a discussion on management improvement through work simplification in conduct of hospital recreation. Martin W. Meyer, VA Hospital, Montrose, N. Y., and chairman of the national section, presided at the national section meeting, Robert Bigley, Ithaca College, N. Y., and recently appointed chairman of the Eastern District Section, chaired that section's portion of the meeting. Elizabeth Rosen, Teachers College, Columbia University, was elected Secretary for the national section for the current two-year term. Officers-elect for the two sections will be reported in the fall.

New VA Hospital Recreation Chief

W. Hal Orion, who for five years headed the Veterans Administration's hospital recreation program, resigned in May to accept an appointment with the VA's office of veterans benefits. He was succeeded by C. C. Bream, Jr., who was instrumental in the planning of the VA's hospital recreation program in late 1945 and who, since then, has been associated intimately with it. Mr. Bream has been Chairman of the American Recreation Society's Hospital Section and was Chairman of the ARS committee which published Basic Concepts of Hospital Recreation.

Wheelchair Basketball

On April 11 at the 212th AAA Group Armory in New York City, the Jersey Wheelers defeated the Brooklyn Whirlaways to win the three-day, eight team, Sixth National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. All participants had case histories and poliomyelitis, paraplegia, and/or amputation. The California and New England Chapters of the Paralyzed Veterans of America have variously been credited with initiating wheelchair basketball sometime in 1946. Bob Rynearson, who since that time has coached the "Flying Wheels" of California, is usually looked upon as its originator.

In 1948, there were six teams in the United States, all from VA hospitals.

In April 1949, a group of students from the University of Illinois, working under the direction of Tim J. Nugent, supervisor of the student rehabilitation center, organized the First National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Mr. Nugent reports that there are now some 30 teams in the United States, several teams in Canada, and that the game is played by the disabled in approximately 17 countries.

Mr. Nugent reports that there has never been an injury from participation in basketball under the auspices of the NWBA. The rules governing wheelchair basketball will be discussed in a subsequent column.


The library of the National Society for Crippled Children and Adults has compiled and distributed revised editions (February 1954) of its Bibliography on Recreation for Physically Handicapped Children and Adults and its Bibliography on Camping with Crippled Children. Single copies may be obtained free from the Society, 11 S. LaSalle St., Chicago 3.

Elizabeth Rosen, instructor in health and physical education, Teachers College, Columbia University, has published an article entitled "Dance as Therapy for the Mentally Ill" in the January 1954 issue of the Teachers College Record. This article is a report of a recent study at a small mental hospital.

Approximately 80 persons from 20 states attended the first Annual Convention of the National Association of Recreational Therapists held March 12-14 at the Southern Illinois University, Carbondale.

Eleven different topics pertaining to recreation for the handicapped were presented and discussed at the 6th Annual California Recreation Conference held February 14-17 at Santa Rosa.

In the Twentieth Biennial Report of the Oregon State Board of Control, the Superintendent of the Eastern Oregon State Hospital reports that the "services of a male and female recreation director and of a librarian have been responsible for much improvement in the treatment and rehabilitation program..."

Applications for Recreational Therapist positions I and II (starting salaries approximately $312 and $362 per month, respectively) may be filed at any time with the Bureau of Personnel, State Capital, Madison 2, Wisconsin. Applications are considered if positions are open within six months of their receipt.

An unusual opportunity to demonstrate the contribution the activity therapist can make as an accepted member of the patient care team is being provided in the Clinical Centers of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md., where one of the most comprehensive medical research programs ever attempted is forming. The Center plans to utilize the occupational, recreational, music, and art therapies to discover new ways to aid physicians in treating patients.

The Eighth Annual Clinical Conference of the Association for Physical and Mental Rehabilitation is to be held at the Hotel Hollenden, Cleveland, June 28-July 2.

Originally published in the September 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 7, page 52...

Directory of Organizations

The Personnel Services Division of the Department of the Air Force published AFM 34 9, a Directory of National Organizations for Recreation, in May. Describing national and local services of some 235 organizations providing potentially valuable assistance to Air Force base recreation programs, this directory should prove an invaluable source of information for personnel conducting hospital recreation programs.

Unless there develops a considerable demand, copies of the directory will not be available from the Supt. of Documents, Govt. Printing Office, Wash. 25, D. C. However, copies should be available for perusal at all Air Force bases and at all VA hospitals and domiciliaries.


At the joint meeting of the Recreational Therapy Sections of AAHPER and its Eastern District, held in conjunction with the AAHPER Convention in New York in April, the following were elected:

for the National section, Chairman-elect--Cecil W. Morgan, director of courses in Rehabilitation, Springfield College, Mass., and recently named Consultant in Corrective Therapy for the VA; Secretary elect--George Sanford, Newington Home and Hospital for Crippled Children, Conn.,;

for the Eastern District section, Chairman-elect -Frances B. Ewing, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pa., and current secretary for the section; Secretary-elect--Barbara Taylor, Shepard Pratt Hospital, Towson, Md. Current officers of the two sections were announced in the June 1954 column.

Correspondence Study

There are many in the field of hospital recreation today who, for many and varied reasons, find it impossible to attend professional meetings or to return to school to improve their professional status. Those facing this common problem may wish to consider correspondence study as an approach to their continued in-service training. The Office of the Secretary of the National University Extension Association, Bloomington, Ind., revised in February its Guide to Correspondence Study, a bulletin especially designed for persons desiring information concerning the best sources of correspondence courses offered in the United States. Courses offered by NUEA member institutions and fee rates are listed, credit policies are discussed, and other resource material on correspondence study is presented. The Guide may be purchased from the NUEA for 25 cents.

Illinois Supervisor's Institute

Bertha E. Schlotter, institutional therapy consultant, Illinois Dept. of Public Welfare, reports that more than 40 supervisors of recreation, occupational therapy, and industrial therapy in institutions operated by the Department, held their Fifth Annual Institute at the Illinois Soldiers' and Sailors' Home in Quincy, in March. Problems of supervision, in-service training, and program were discussed along with plans for the Tenth Annual Institute for Illinois recreation, OT, and IT employees, scheduled for August 25-27, 1954 at the Illinois School for Braille and Sight Saving, Jacksonville. Approximately 250 workers attend this annual meeting.

New York Workshops

Approximately 65 hospital recreation personnel from upper New York state met at the Gowanda State Homeopathic Hospital, May 18 20, and more than 120 hospital recreation personnel from lower New York State met at Central Islip State Hospital, May 25-27, to participate in Recreation Workshop Conferences conducted under the direction of the Supervisor of Recreation, Dept. of Mental Hygiene, State of New York. These personnel were from the 27 N. Y. State Mental Hospitals which have a patient load exceeding 100,000.

Coming Meetings

The Hospital Section of the American Recreation Society will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the 36th National Recreation Congress at the Jefferson Hotel, St. Louis, Mo., Sept. 25-26. The Congress itself convenes Sept. 27 through Oct. 1.

The National Association for Music Therapy will hold its 5th Annual Conference at the Henry Hudson Hotel, New York City, Oct 13-15.

Originally published in the October 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 8, page 52...

Wheelchair Basketball Rules

Tim J. Nugent, supervisor, Student Rehabilitation Center, Univ. of Illinois, and Technical Adviser, National Wheelchair Basketball Association, reports that the NWBA has established a standard contract for wheelchair basketball games (see June column) and has standardized the rules. These rules specify a chair of the Everest and Jennings Standard University Model style, limiting the height of the foot platform and seat from the floor to 4 1/2 and 20 inches respectively. They prohibit modification of chairs which change principal contact points with other chairs. (A new type of pneumatic wheel which is more serviceable and maneuverable and which minimizes floor markings is manufactured by the Durst Cycle Co., Champaign, Ill., under Mr. Nugent's supervision.)

Basically, wheelchair basketball rules differ from normal basketball rules, as follows: (1) the rear wheels are on the free-throw line for shooting free-throws; (2) 15 seconds are allowed for advancing the ball from the back to the front court; (3) there is a six-second time-limit in the free-throw circle; players may not hold, push, or deliberately bump other player's chairs; (4) players may not raise their buttocks from their chairs by use of arms; (5) players in possession of the ball may not make a deliberate action on the wheels with their hands in any direction more than twice in succession; (6) the ball must be bounced two or more times on the floor before the wheels may again be pushed.

Recreation Needs of Orthopedics

Louise B. Shepherd, recreation leader, Univ. Hospital School, Univ. of Michigan, reports on a memorandum she received from a resident physician in orthopedic surgery, which points up well the recreation needs of orthopedic patients. This memorandum was instrumental in initiating the employment of recreation for teenage and adult patients in the University Hospital. Excerpts follow:

"For some time, I have been considering the situation of the orthopedic patients on 4-East and wonder if your department might not be in a position to be of help to them.

"Our patients are in a difficult situation. Many of them are there after acute traumatic incidents that often kill members of their family or their friends. They suddenly find themselves in a hospital, frequently securely attached to their beds, with serious and painful injuries...Aside from the medical measures that are used for their recovery, they spend most of the time without activity. "They are...entirely different from those on any other service in that they are sick and healthy at the same time...The program is fine but it fails to meet the needs of those whose life for a long period is spent in bed with the same walls and floor about them. I feel we are failing to provide adequately for these patients with the result that their progress is often slowed and their hospitalization increased as well as their outlook for the future darkened...

"I am not critical but just raising a problem that to me is very important...My only concern is in the welfare of our patients, which too often seem to be forgotten."

Recreation Needs of Polios

Miss Shepherd also sends in an editorial from the Nov 21, 1953, Wheel Chair Review, published at the Warm Springs Foundation. The following excerpts from this editorial show the patients' estimates of their needs for recreation while hospitalized:

"The Foundation is the finest polio treatment and rehabilitation center in the world today...

"Lucky indeed is the patient admitted to the Foundation. Not only lucky but bored.

"A patient on a conservative course has two half-hour treatments a day; a functional patient may have as many as five or six half-hour treatments daily. He sleeps eight or nine hours; bathing and dressing takes another hour. There are, however, 24 hours in a day. This leaves plus or minus 12 hours...

"The new patient has just come from six months or so in bed doing nothing but reading, writing letters and watching TV. He doesn't care if he ever sees a TV set again. He wants to do something with a group of friends...

"So, all right, what can he do? Two evenings a week he can go to the movies. If he has a taste for westerns, he can go Saturday afternoon, too. This leaves five evenings a week, innumerable afternoons, and a long barren week-end, stretching ahead of the new polio...

"What the new patients and the old patients need is an Entertainment Therapist. Never has there been a more crying need for one than here at the Foundation. All resorts, all cruise ships, all places where people are isolated usually have an entertainment program and someone to run it...

"In years past the Foundation has had an Entertainment Therapist. The Administration is trying to find one now. The Wheel Chair Review hopes they are trying hard."

Originally published in the November 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 9, page 52...

Need for Expanding

Our National Recreational Therapy Section was formed at the April 1952 National Convention of the AAHPER in Los Angeles. The operating code, adopted at the time, provided for the formation of corresponding district sections. In April 1953, the Eastern District formed its Recreational Therapy Section.

Since district sections will constitute the basic structure upon which our national section will continue to grow, leaders in the field of hospital recreation are encouraged to take the initiative in forming Recreational Therapy Sections in the five remaining district associations. Toward this end, representatives should be selected at an early date to petition the presidents of their respective associations for appropriate action.

Your chairman of the national section, Martin W. Meyer, VA Hospital, Montrose, N. Y. or Jackson Anderson, AAHPER consultant in recreation and outdoor education, will be happy to assist such efforts. Plans should be made well ahead of district conventions which are scheduled in 1955 as follows: Midwest, Columbus, Ohio, March 30-April 1. Central, St. Paul, Minn., March 30-April 2. Southern, Tulsa, Okla., April 11-15. Northwest, Lewiston, Idaho, April 13-15. Southwest, Las Cruces, N. M., April 20-23.

Notable Plan

In the July 1954 Report to Governor's Council by Walter Rapaport, director, Department of Mental Hygiene, State of California, it is reported that the Los Angeles County Park and Recreation Department, in co operation with Pacific State Hospital, has established a recreation program for patients on leave of absence from state mental hospitals. This could be a significant development and seems to warrant consideration elsewhere.

Recreational Therapy Internships

The September 1954 issue of the ARS Hospital Recreation Section Newsletter reports that the Department of Physical Medicine, Graylyn Hospital, Winston-Salem, N. C., has offered since the summer of 1952, two 12 months internships in Recreational Therapy. These internships are available to college graduates with majors in recreation or physical education.

Recreation interns who have enrolled at the University of Minnesota at least six months prior to completion of the internship receive nine quarter-hours of graduate credit toward a Masters degree in hospital recreation.

Rehabilitation Program Needs

The information bulletin describing the graduate program for Physical Education and Recreation in Rehabilitation at Springfield College, Mass., cites the following as reasons why such a program is needed:

"Some 28,000,000 persons in the United States are handicapped in some extent...

"About 5,000,000 children needing special programs are in the Nation's school system today. Approximately 2,000,000 have physical handicaps.

"Twenty-eight states now require special certification for teachers of crippled children. "Only about 15% of those needing special schools and classes are receiving such help.

"...It is estimated that in 20 years one third of our population will be over 60 years of age. Many will require special rehabilitation activities.

"Mental illness has become the nation's No. 1 health problem. Physical and recreational activities contribute to prevention and treatment."

Recommended Reading

Those employed in the field of hospital recreation, as well as those considering entering the profession, will profit from reading the article "Professional Leadership in Hospital Recreation," which appeared in the September 1954 issue of Recreation magazine. This article by Edith Ball, advisor for the hospital recreation curriculum, School of Education, New York University, is provocative.

Hospital Recreation Bibliography

An "annotated bibliography of references concerning hospital recreation" (May 1954) has been compiled by Sidney Acuff and Elizabeth Denman, graduate students in hospital recreation at the University of Minnesota. The bibliography contains 204 references to articles in periodicals, 24 books and published pamphlets, and 24 unpublished pamphlets and theses.

It is indexed by type of hospital, diagnostic group, and program area. One of the most complete bibliographies compiled in our professional area, it has been distributed to all members of the Hospital Section of the American Recreation Society.

Originally published in the December 1954 JHPER, v25, issue 10, page 39...

Physicians Discuss Recreation

Nearly 400 registrants from 45 states, the District of Columbia, and all Canadian provinces attended the Sixth Mental Hospital Institute, held in Minneapolis, Oct. 17-21.

The institute was sponsored by the Mental Hospital Service of the American Psychiatric Association, with the majority of registrants being physicians. For this reason, it is significant that one plenary session was devoted to the discussion of Recreation in Mental Hospitals. Robert W. Hyde, asst. supt., Boston Psychopathic Hospital, introduced the topic and led the discussion. It was recognized, among other things, that recreation has a place in today's mental hospitals; that it is a mechanism through which the patient may be approached; that spontaneous activity is an excellent medium for reversing the process of mental illness; that recreation serves a good purpose in getting patients off wards and, in some instances, away from hospitals; that the use of patient leaders and volunteers is essential; that although we may not force participation in recreation, we may force the opportunity. In summary, another trained group of "paramedical" personnel has entered the treatment field.

Questions for recreationists:

Although the recreationist may take comfort in the foregoing observations, his smugness is somewhat dissipated as he searches for acceptable replies to the following questions which were posed by the discussion leader:

  • How can recreation further a patient's ability to meet reality?
  • Does recreation encourage fantasy?
  • Can the patient use recreation as a method to avoid meeting his problems?
  • If recreation is voluntary, will it only be chosen by the patients who are using it to escape realistic engagement with their problems?
  • If recreation is compulsory is it recreation?
  • The patients who would benefit most by recreation are sometimes those with the greatest guilt about participating in it.
  • Will these patients participate voluntarily?
  • Is it necessary to achieve a balance between work and play? If so, how can this be done in separate hospital departments?
  • How do patients' recreation needs compare with those of the average person outside the hospital?
  • Do psychotic patients in mental hospitals tend to have had impoverished recreational lives before their illness?
  • Is it dangerous for the schizophrenic patient in turmoil to engage in recreation?
  • Is the manic patient overstimulated by most recreation?
  • Does recreation increase the guilt and self-destructive urges of the depressed patient?
  • What scientific evidence has been presented that recreation is therapeutic in mental illness?
  • Is there a series of case studies anywhere available which demonstrate the therapeutic efficacy of recreation?
  • What physiological changes occur in patients with different types of mental illness as a result of recreation?
  • Is the parasympathetic system particularly mobilized by recreation?
  • In hospitals with an organized patient government, should recreational choice and management be placed in their hands, with personnel assistance where they request it?
  • What responsibility should the ward attendant have for carrying on recreational therapy with patients?
  • What "follow through" is indicated when a patient shows a decided improvement during a social event?
  • Should recreation be organized on a ward basis, in order to further the socialization of the ward?
  • Can recreation which fails to take into account the natural grouping of patients be disruptive in its influence?
  • What is the relative value of group as contrasted with individual recreation?
  • Does it vary according to type of illness? Is reading recreation?
  • To whom shall we look for the answers to these basic question?

Correspondence Course in Hospital Recreation

The University of Minnesota, Physical Education Department, Division of Recreation Leadership, in co-operation with the Correspondence Study Department, has announced a new correspondence course entitled Orientation to Recreation in Hospitals. Lessons are planned in four major divisions: The Place of Recreation in Hospitals; Adapted Activities for Patients; The Hospital Recreation Program; and Leadership, Supervision, and Volunteers.

The course is conducted by Professor Fred M. Chapman, has 16 lesson assignments, and carries three quarter credits. Tuition is $15, plus a materials fee of $1.25. Basic texts cost approximately $4.00. For additional information, write F. Lloyd Hansen, Director,

Correspondence Study Department, 251 Nicholson Hall, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 14, Minn.


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