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Recreational Therapy Archives
1956 JHPER: National Recreational
Therapy Section News
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(Editor: Bernath E. Phillips from "52-'58)
Originally published in
the January 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 1, page 52...
Martin W. Meyer, chairman
of our Recreational Therapy Section, after approximately ten years
with the VA Adapted Sports and Recreation programs, has accepted the
position of Coordinator of Activity Therapy for the State of Indiana.
In partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the Ed. D. degree, which he received from
the New York University in October, Dr. Meyer completed a study entitled
"The Influence of Recreation Participation Upon the Behavior
of the Schizophrenic Patients." Because of its material contribution
to research in our professional area, and with hope that the study
will stimulate further research of this calibre, the essentials of
the study are herein presented.
Purpose of Study. The primary
purpose of the study was to determine whether prescribed active participation
in recreation can favorably influence the behavior of long-term, chronic,
inactive, schizophrenic patients. Secondarily, the study proposed
to determine whether prescription of activities based on pre-morbid
experience is more beneficial than prescription of activities based
on no pre-morbid experience.
Conduct of Study. The study
involved 60 patients at the VA Hospital, Montrose, N. Y. These were
divided into two experimental groups and one control group of 20 patients
each. Data on pre-morbid experience was collected from patients' next
of kin and other reliable sources. The three groups were matched on
the basis of ratings of patients' behavior according to the Montrose
Behavior Rating Scale. (See, Rackow, Leon L., et. al., "A Group
Method for the Rapid Screening of Chronic Psychiatric Patients,"
The American Journal of Psychiatry, Feb. 1953.) This rating scale
was also administered midway in, and at the termination of the experimental
period, and results were handled statistically to determine the significance
of any changes in behavior taking place during the six months experimental
Since the three groups
of patients were together, they followed identical routines with the
exception of the single variable of active participation in recreation
activity as follows: The first experimental group was given a program
of three activities, selected from patients' pre morbid histories,
from 1 P.M. to 4 P.M. daily for six months. The second experimental
group was given a program of three activities which patients had not
experienced prior to hospitalization, during the same hours and length
of time. The control group, in lieu of participation, remained on
Findings. Briefly, the
findings were these: (1) Patients not actively participating in recreation
showed, after 3 and after 6 months, a marked unfavorable change in
behavior, (2) Patients participating actively in recreation showed
a favorable change in behavior after 3 and after 6 months, (3) Patients
actively participating in recreation based upon their pre-morbid experience
showed a more favorable change in behavior after 3 months (but not
after 6 months) than patients actively participating in recreation
based upon no pre-morbid experience.
Jean M. Doniger, director,
Occupational Therapy, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Univ. Hospital,
Univ. of Michigan, is recruiting a recreational therapist supervisor
and two assistants interested in and qualified to work with disturbed
children in a newly activated Children's Service. The new building
in which this service is located includes such modern facilities as
gymnasium, swimming pool, theater, and playgrounds. Those interested
should write directly to Miss Doniger.
The Recreational Therapy
Section, Eastern District of AAHPER, under the Chairmanship of Ben
Fiore, has announced plans for its meeting in Atlantic City, April
23 at 9 A.M. Your editor has accepted an invitation to address the
group on "The Rationale of Recreation in Hospitals." What
are the basic concepts, the philosophy, the firm foundations upon
which we must build our relatively new profession? Do we need either
to be recreators or therapists? Those feeling strongly along these
lines are invited to forward their observations to your editor, along
with related problems warranting discussion at the meeting.
A revised edition of Selected
References on Aging -An Annotated Bibliography, prepared by the Committee
on Aging in the Dept. of Health Education and Welfare, may be obtained
by forwarding 30Ę to the Supt. of Documents, Govt. Printing Office,
Wash. 25. A well-annotated list of references entitled Hobby Publication--1955
Edition may be obtained free.
Champions by Setback
This is the title of a
book about ten well-known athletes in varying sports who overcame
physical handicaps to become champions. An interesting evening's reading,
it is written by David King Boynick and published by Thomas Y. Crowell
Co., New York, 1956.
Originally published in
the February 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 2, page 52...
RT Convention Meetings
Four meetings have been
selected for the Recreational Therapy Section at the 59th Convention
of the AAHPER, to be held at the Conrad Hilton Hotel, Chicago, March
Monday, March 26, 8:30
to 10:15 A.M.--BUSINESS MEETING, to discuss plans to stepping up the
activities of the section; 1:15 to 6:00 P.M.- RESEARCH MEETING, to
point up studies which have been completed, those under way, and those
needed in our professional area.
Tuesday, March 27, 10:45
A.M. to 12:30 P.M.- PROFESSIONAL PREPARATION MEETING, to survey existing
practices and needs in the education of recreational therapists; 4:15
to 5:00 P.M.- UTILIZING AGENCIES MEETING, to identify and learn of
the services of the agencies using recreation in rehabilitation. Personnel
of the highest professional standing have accepted invitations to
conduct these meetings and the one hour and 45 minutes allocated for
each meeting will permit extensive audience participation. Suggestions
for the conduct or content of these meetings can be relayed to their
chairmen through your editor.
The Research Council's
current annual report of Research Underway and Research Needed in
Health Education, Physical Education, and Recreation indicates that:
∑ Robert Ehren, Univ. of
Tenn. is engaged in "A Study of Recreational Pursuits and Interests
of Patients in a Mental hospital Previous to Their Admission."
∑ Barbara Lois Underhill,
Smith College, is conducting a study entitled "The Development
of a Program of Recreation for Cerebral Palsy Patients of the Northampton
The VA Hospital in Northampton,
Mass., reports the installation of a connection between the swimming
pool in the basement of the recreation hall and a buzzer in the office
of the Chief, Special Service, to be used to summon assistance in
cases of emergency. Since the patient population is predominately
neuropsychiatric, it would often be unwise for the Sports Leader to
leave the pool to obtain needed assistance.
Scheduled NART Meeting
The Fourth Annual Convention
of the Natl. Assn. of Recreational Therapists will be held at the
Ohio Univ. Student Center in Athens, Ohio, March 8-11. The NART consists
primarily of recreation personnel employed in state mental hospitals.
The September-October 1955
issue of the NART's Inter-State News contains an article by G. E.
McCormick, chief of recreation at the VA Hospital, Marion, Ind., entitled
"A Recreation Program of Specific Therapeutic Benefit for Scheduled
Patients." This represents a paper presented at the Ninth Annual
Governor's Conference on Recreation, held in Indianapolis last April.
It not only relates the "why" but it specifies the "how"
of the assigned and prescribed recreation program at Marion. Procedures
and forms used in prescribing recreation, reporting patient progress
to physicians, developing activity period guides and group schedules
are clearly handled.
One of the highlights of
the Seventh Mental Hospital Institute held in Washington last October
was the academic lecture by Jerome D. Frank, M.D., assoc. prof. of
psychiatry at Johns Hopkins Univ. School of Medicine. His paper, "Group
Therapy in the Mental hospital," has been published by the American
Psychiatric Assn. Mental Hospital Service as the first in a series
of monographs. Generally, the paper describes how group therapy programs
can benefit hospitalized patients through direct influence on the
patients themselves and by facilitating beneficial changes in the
hospital organization; suggests that therapy groups are both expressions
of the democratically oriented therapeutic community and necessary
means towards this end. Copies of this 17-page monograph can be ordered
from the APN Mental Hospital Service, 1785 Mass. Ave., N.W., Wash.
6, D. C., at 50 cents each, for less than five copies. Orders under
$2.50 must be accompanied by cash.
Patients Need Recreation
In an article entitled
"Hospital Patients Need Planned Recreation," appearing in
The Modern Hospital, Nov. 1955, Joseph P. Peters and Bruce B. Grymbarm,
M.D., state the conviction that whether patients stay in the hospital
three days or three years, they benefit from a planned program of
diversion. The article relates several principles and practices followed
in the development of the recreation program at the Beekman-Downtown
Hospital in New York City.
Originally published in
the March 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 3, page 68...
References on Management
The following selected
references are presented for the management-conscious hospital recreation
leader and the educator engaged in the professional preparation of
hospital recreation personnel.
∑ Advanced Management,
(Published monthly by the Society for the Advancement of Management,
Inc., 74 Fifth Ave., New York 11, N. Y.; $8.00 per year, index published
annually and contents indexed in Industrial Arts Index).
∑ Casey, Robert S., and
James W. Perry (editors), Punched Cards, New York; Reinhold Pub. Corp.,
∑ Hammermill Paper Co.,
Recipe For An Orderly Desk (1954); How To Harness A Conference (1950);
How To Design A Business Form (1946); Very Promptly Yours (1943);
Three Steps That Get Things Done (1943). (May be obtained free from
Hammermill Paper Co., 1141 E. Lake Rd., Erie, Pa., if the request
is written on the letterhead of your organization.)
∑ Hospitals, published
monthly by the American Hospital Association, 18 E. Division St.,
Chicago 10; $2.00-$3.00 per year.
∑ Jueris, Ray, "An
Extra Hour Every Day," This Week Magazine, November 24, 1954
(Sunday Newspaper Supplement).
∑ Phillips, R. E., "Hospital
Recreation is Unique," Journal of the American Association for
Health, Physical Education and Recreation, May 1952.
∑ __________, "The
Conduct of Recreation in Hospitals," Intercom, Sept. 1954 (American
∑ __________, "Management
Improvement in Hospital Recreation Through Work Simplification,"
Recreation for the Patient, Sept. 1955 (Bulletin No. 17, The N. C.
∑ Torry, George R., Office
Management and Control, Homewood, Ill., Richard D. Irvin, Inc., 1953.
∑ Wright, Marion J., Improvement
of Patient Care, New york; C. P. Putnam's Sons, 1954.
Food For Thought
In leading a discussion
on mental and emotional ills at the Second Southern Regional Conference
on Hospital Recreation last April, Paul Haun, M.D., asked several
pointed questions for the recreation leader who would be a therapist.
Among these were the following:
"Many patients get sick and recover without going to a hospital,
without taking a dose of medicine, and without any attempt at self-treatment.
Breathing, eating, emptying the bladder and the bowels, sleeping,
walking (recreating)--these are things which happen to all of us sick
and well. When they happen to a person who is sick, can we properly
say they are therapeutic?
"Hospitals and hotels
are alike in a great many respects. Both are shelters providing rooms
and beds and furniture. Both have bathrooms, heating plants, business
offices, fire escapes and electric lights. These, along with many
other physical facilities and personal services, are necessary in
the hotel as well as in the hospital. We do not consider them to be
treatment when their locale is the hotel. Is there any sound basis
for so considering them in the hospital?
"A patient dictates
half a business contract to his attorney while a patient in the hospital.
Having recovered from his illness, he moves to a hotel and there completes
his work. Is the one part of his treatment and the other not? A college
student plays four games of solitaire, two in his bedroom at home,
and two while a patient in the local hospital. Which of the games
In identifying the traits
of the hospital recreation leader, Dr. Haun asks, "How do these
traits differ from those of the highly accomplished hostess? Making
each guest feel the party is being held in his honor; catering to
his individual preferences; steering the conversation away from the
topics which are offensive to him; offering him group participation,
but not forcing him to accept; bringing together individuals with
kindred tastes; giving every indication of enjoying herself; being
equally attentive to all her guests? is there a difference between
the recreation leader and the accomplished hostess?
"Is there a difference
between knowing how to help and knowing how to avoid hurting--in knowing
the areas of one's life in which one can work and those from which
one should stay away? Are you ready to deal with the total patient
with all of his deepest anxieties or is it better for you to use the
instrumentalities of your profession and avoid the areas in which
you are inadequately trained to deal or in areas in which the chances
of arousing anxiety in you might be so great that you would stay out
of them?...Are there any advantages in the recreator not knowing the
uttermost detail of the psychiatric patient under his care?"
Originally published in
the April 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 4, page 52...
Bibliography of Bibliographies
From time to time your
editor receives inquiries relative to the availability of a reliable,
useful bibliography on recreation in hospitals and/or for the physically
and mentally handicapped. There is no one completely satisfactory
bibliography to which to refer inquirers. There are, however, several
bibliographies or reference sources which will in turn point the way
to further exploration of the literature:
∑ The National Society
for Crippled Children and Adults, Inc., has published and regularly
revised A Bibliography on Recreation for Physically Handicapped Children
and Adults and A Bibliography on Camping with Crippled Children. These
bibliographies are annotated and are supplemented. For a monthly bibliography
for workers with the handicapped, Bulletin on Current Literature.
∑ In May 1954, Sidney Acuff
and Elizabeth Denman, graduate students in hospital recreation at
the University of Minnesota, compiled An Annotated Bibliography of
References Concerning Hospital Recreation. Containing some 252 references,
indexed by type of hospital, diagnostic group, and program area, this
bibliography was distributed to all members of the Hospital Section
of the American Recreation Society.
∑ The Center for Continuation
Study, University of Minnesota, mimeographed an annotated Bibliography
for Hospital Recreation Leaders in connection with the National Institute
in Hospital Recreation held at the Center in May 1950.
∑ The North Carolina Recreation
Commission has published A Selected Bibliography on Hospital Recreation
as part of the Proceedings of the first area Southern Regional Hospital
Recreation Institutes held at Univ. of N. C. in May 1953 and April
∑ The National Recreation
Association periodically mimeographs lists of program-planning publications
and articles having appeared in Recreation magazine under the heading
"Recreation in Hospitals."
∑ In February 1946, the
Hospital Service of the American National Red Cross mimeographed an
annotated Bibliography--Hospital Recreation. The May 1954 issue of
Intercom contains a selected Recreation Bibliography for those engaged
in hospital recreation. Each June issue of Intercom, a publication
dealing essentially with recreation in military hospitals, contains
an index of articles during the previous year.
∑ Eleanor L. Wright has
prepared An Annotated Bibliography of Articles on Swimming for the
Handicapped (from 1942 through 1951) which contains 12 good references
and is available from the American Association for Health, Physical
Education, and Recreation at 10 cents.
∑ The May-June 1955 issue
of the Journal of Health, Physical Education, Recreation contained
an "Index of Selected Items from This Column (Recreational Therapy),
1952-55." The February 1954 issue of this column under the title
"Journal/References, 1951-53," lists some 14 articles pertaining
to recreational therapy.
∑ For approximately ten
years, the Veterans Administration has published Information Bulletins
(now known as Program Guides) which are usually available for perusal
at VA hospitals and domiciliaries. Recreation articles having appeared
in these IB's are indexed in IB 6-227, A Bibliography for Special
Services Information Bulletins Part I- Recreation Service, February
1952, and its Supplement No. 1 to Part I--Recreation Service, Jan.
∑ Many texts contain excellent
lists of selected references, examples of which are Valerie Hunt's
Recreation for the Handicapped, George Stafford's Sports for the Handicapped,
and John Davis' Clinical Applications of Recreational Therapy.
A bibliography on recreation
for the handicapped in a medical setting, to be of maximum value to
physicians and recreators, should probably be limited specifically
in scope, should contain selected references only, should contain
only those references in readily available form, should be well organized
and annotated, and should be kept current. Few, if any, of the above
bibliographies satisfy all of these criteria.
Minnesota's Third Institute
The University of Minnesota's
Third Institute in Hospital Recreation will be held May 27-30, 1956,
at the university's Center for Continuation Study in Minneapolis.
Professional workers in medical and hospital recreation settings are
eligible to attend; registration fee $3.00, tuition $7.00. At the
Center room rates range from $2.25 to $3.00 and meals average $3.25
a day. Further information may be obtained from the Director, Center
for Continuation Study, U. of Minn., Minneapolis 14.
Originally published in
the May-June 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 5, page 52...
Can We Agree?
In chairing the panel discussion
on "Professional Preparation of Recreational Therapists"
at the March Convention of the AAHPER in Chicago, your editor introduced
the topic by adding: "Can we agree...that a person needs recreation
whether or not he is in the hospital...that he needs recreation as
he needs food, exercise, rest, faith, and shelter...that those deficient
in recreation, whether in content or kind, must be prescribed recreation
just as those deficient in certain foods must be prescribed diets...that
further, there are many in the hospital with no recreation deficiency
who nevertheless need recreation just as there are those with no diet
deficiency who must eat?
"If we can agree on
this single reasoning, it is not, then, a case of whether or not recreation
in the hospital is more Recreational Therapy than it is Therapeutic
Recreation...or just plain Recreation. It is, in instances, all of
"Can we agree further
to the term Recreational Therapist to identify the professional recreation
leader who is engaged in "hospital recreation," "recreation
in rehabilitation," in "recreational therapy?...the leader
who in varying circumstances finds himself playing the role of the
educator or therapist, as well as the recreator?"
The more than 100 in attendance
at this meeting seemed to agree with the above concepts. Do You?
At its sixth, seventh,
and eighth meetings (in Denver, September 1955; New York, January
1956; and Chicago March 1956), the Council for the Advancement of
Hospital Recreation has made significant progress. The Council has
now officially adopted personnel standards for Hospital Recreation
Director, Leader, and, Aide, which are in essence, those reported
in this column in January 1955.
There has also been constructed
for approval by the three professional groups represented on the Council,
a tentative plan for registration of personnel who can qualify under
these standards. It is the Council's plan to effect wide distribution
of the standards.
Chicago Convention Meetings
An estimated more than
200 individuals attended one or more of the four Recreational Therapy
Section meetings held in conjunction with the Biennial Convention
of the AAHPER in Chicago, March 26 and 27. In addition, 48 Veterans
Administration Special Service personnel, representing 16 VA hospitals,
VA's Central Office, and its St. Paul Area Medical Office, participated
at closed meetings on the VA's hospital recreation.
These figures represent
a significant increase in the number of meetings devoted to this specialized
area at our national convention, as well as in the number of participants.
The first professional
meeting consisted of the presentation of a Doctoral study on the "Influence
of Active Participation in Recreation Upon Behavior of Schizophrenic
Patients," followed by a critique thereon. Another pertained
to the "Professional Preparation of Recreational Therapists,"
discussed by a panel consisting of leaders in the profession representing
five institutions of higher learning. The third consisted on reports
on "How Agencies Utilize Recreation in Rehabilitation" by
representatives of six such agencies.
At the business meeting,
Roger C. Boyd, chief, Special Service, VA Hospital, Downey, Ill.,
was elected Chairman-elect of our AAHPER Recreational Therapy Section.
Martin W. Meyer, chairman for the past two years, turned over the
duties of his office to Cecil W. Morgan, Director of Adult Vocational
Services for United Cerebral Palsy Assn., who will serve for the next
two years. Those interested in participating in the Section's activities
are encouraged to let their interests be known through this column.
The Illinois Department
of Public Welfare has again announced its Employment-Education Program
for Professional Training in its pamphlet of the same title. Through
this program, college or university students within continental United
States may receive tuition, stipends for living expenses, and certain
travel expenses in return for their agreeing to work for the Department
one calendar year for each academic year of education received under
the program. Recreational Therapists are among those eligible to receive
grants for the final year of undergraduate, graduate, or advanced
professional education, depending upon the requirements of the Department
and of the profession.
For further information,
those interested in mental health should write the Assistant Deputy
Director, Employment-Education Program (those interested in child
welfare should write to the Superintendent of Child Welfare Service),
Mental Health Service, Illinois Dept. of Public Welfare, 400 S. Spring
St., Springfield, Ill.
Originally published in
the September 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 6, page 68...
VA's Student Affiliate
The Veterans Administration
recently established its standards for the conduct of a Student Affiliate
Recreation Trainee program. Under this program, VA field stations
may cooperate with accredited colleges and universities by providing
opportunities for the training of students for the profession of Hospital
The standards were developed
out of experience with pilot programs at four VA hospitals and in
continued liaison with selected representatives of colleges and universities
and professional societies. Those desiring to explore the possibilities
of affiliation should consult the Manager of the VA hospital with
which affiliation is desired.
Marshall Field Award
The Marshall Field Awards
were established in 1956 to help focus public attention on children's
needs and on the areas in which improved services are required. One
of the four areas of eligibility is Physical and Mental Development
which includes health, medical care, nutrition, recreation, rehabilitation.
Awards consist of $2,000, a scroll and a statuette. A minimum of six
will be available annually.
The first awards will be
made in December 1956 with nominations closing October 1st. For further
information write Elma Phillipson, exec. sect. Marshall Field Awards,
Inc., 598 Madison Ave., New York 22, N. Y.
References to Note
∑ American Red Cross, "What
Do You Know About the Wards Assigned to You," Intercom, Feb.
1956. Contains a good in-service training and planning device for
hospital recreation staff.
∑ Taaffe, Dorothy B., "Internal
Staff Relationships," The Bulletin, American Recreation Society,
March 1956. Miss Taaffe, ARS Recreation Consultant Service in Military
Hospitals, discusses the importance of good communication in the conduct
of recreation in hospitals.
∑ Hill, Beatrice H., Hospital
Capsules," Recreation, June 1956. Mrs. Hill's column contains
a brief report by Roscoe Brown of New York University, of a research
project conducted last year at Bergen Pines Hospital, Paramus, N.
J. The investigation pertained to the effect of recreation on 139
chronically ill patients.
∑ May 27-29, the University
of Minnesota conducted its third Hospital Recreation Institute. There
were 76 registrants, from 18 states, 38 of those representing VA and
29 state hospitals. Fifty one different faculties were represented.
The keynote Speaker, Dale C. Cameron, director of medical services
for the State of Minnesota, emphasized the importance of recreation
in the treatment of the mentally ill due to its providing a medium
for communication on the non-verbal level.
∑ On March 10, 150 representatives
of four states, eight colleges, and numerous agencies and hospitals
gathered in Hartford to study improved methods in swimming for the
disabled. The meeting brought sharply into focus the 11 community
and five camp swimming programs for the handicapped in the State of
Connecticut. Copies of the institute proceedings are available at
25 cents; write Frank Robinson, Program Secretary, Conn. Society for
Crippled Children and Adults, Inc., 740 Asylum Ave., Hartford.
∑ The American Occupational
Therapy Association's 39th Annual Conference will be held at the Nicollet
Hotel in Minneapolis, Sept. 28-Oct. 5, 1956.
A Philosophy of Recreation
Alexander Reid Martin,
noted psychiatrist of New York City, in his opening address at the
Second Southern Regional Conference on Hospital Recreation at the
University of North Carolina, well reminded us of the following:
"Certainly, with mental
hospital patients ...broadly speaking, our therapeutic goal is to
help the patient live leisurely and not compulsively.
"As we all know, the
recreation, the games, the craft, the hobby, per se, is not our first
consideration, but rather how the patient applies himself, how the
patient utilizes that particular hobby or recreation. Is he using
it...in the service of escaping from life, or in the service of enriching
and broadening his life? Is he using it in the service of detaching
himself from others, or in the service of getting close to others?
Is he using it to prove himself, or to improve himself?
"It may be extremely
difficult to recognize when a patient is using recreation for compulsive
or for healthy motives. Here, the need for closer integration between
psychiatry and recreation becomes more and more obvious."
Originally published in
the October 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 7, page 52...
Reflections on Evaluation
Evaluation is an area of
our professional endeavor in which one can clearly differentiate between
the professional and the lay person; there is probably no other area
in which the differentiation is so pronounced. We must recognize,
therefore, that evaluation is an important responsibility of the recreation
leader and that he must accept it as such; that it is not just a function
tacked on to his other, more commonly recognized duties; that it is
not in the description of his position for grade-determining purposes.
Many of us probably talk
more and do less about evaluation than any other phase of our hospital
recreation program. We do less actual planning for it; we rarely schedule
for it, or budget time for it; we devote less time to studying its
techniques. We give lip service to the essentiality of evaluation
in our planning of programs with physicians and others--our getting
out of ruts in scheduling, selection activities, systematizing jobs--our
getting funds to support the programs--our improving the status of
our profession and of ourselves. But, what do we do about evaluation???
Do we use accepted tools,
such as attendance records, checklists, and report forms, in our evaluation?
Do we get the advice and assistance of the clinical psychologist and
other professional hospital personnel in planning and effecting our
evaluation? Do we get truly representative opinion from which to appraise
response to our services? Do we report to physicians on the behavior
of selected patients? Have we a guide for the observation of this
behavior? Have we, in effect, a defensible plan for evaluation of
our recreation services to patients?
As in most endeavors, a
major problem is that of getting started--of knowing where and when
to start--of formulating a plan of action. The following are suggestions
∑ Cooperatively develop
your own approach to evaluation. Do it now with the best available
∑ Start on a modest scale;
start with staff interests; start from where you are.
∑ Select a significant
aspect of your program for initial exploration, such as its objectives,
management, leadership, materials, activities, time schedules, participation,
∑ Be as objective as possible.
Seek to learn something and not to prove anything.
∑ Be systematic and continuous.
Have a plan and make it work.
∑ Present your findings
simply. Use bar diagrams, whole numbers, summarize on the first page
of your report.
∑ Do something about what
you learn. Follow-up on your evaluation. Schedule your next step in
Two practical references
Pratt, E. H., "Evaluation
of a Good Hospital Recreation Program," pp. 53, 65, Hospital
Recreation. Report of the First Southern Regional Institute on Hospital
Recreation, Univ. of North Carolina, May 21, 22 and 23, 1953. Bull.
No. 11, N. C. Recreation Commission, Education Bldg. Annex, Raleigh,
Taaffe, Dorothy, "Guide
for Evaluation of a Hospital Recreation Program," pp. 1-8, Intercom,
Recreation for Discharged
Recognizing the need to
prepare mentally ill patients for their return to the community, the
recreation staff (in coordination with the medical staff) at the Veterans
Hospital in Kansas City, Mo., has developed a plan for orienting patients
on recreation opportunities in the community and surrounding areas.
This orientation consists of planned visits to selected community
facilities by open-ward patients, so that they may learn the location
and availability of these play areas, as well as observe the activities
conducted therein. These visits are supplemented by periodic visits
to the hospital by representatives of the City Recreation Department,
for discussions with patients anticipating early discharge concerning
the conditions under which community recreation resources may be made
available to them after they leave the hospital. Reports on this program
to date appear most favorable.
At the suggestion of the
AAHPER Recreational Therapy Section, the ARS Hospital Section and
the NART, the National Recreation has undertaken a study of the current
status of recreation in the approximately 9,000 hospitals in the United
Represented on the Advisory
Committee for the study, in addition to the above three professional
groups, are the American Medical Association, American National Red
Cross, American Psychiatric Association, American Hospital Association,
Veterans Administration, and U. S. Department of Health, Education
and Welfare. It is planned to collect data on the number of professional
recreation personnel employed in hospitals, to inquire into their
academic background and their administrative alignment in the hospital,
and to determine the scope of hospital recreation programs.
Originally published in
the November 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 8, page 52...
Last June, the AAHPER Board
of Directors approved a National Conference on Recreation for the
Ill and Handicapped, to be conducted in Washington, D. C., during
the fall of 1957. Although participation will not be limited to AAHPER
members, it will be on invitation only.
It is imperative, therefore,
that those interested submit their recommendations for the planning
and conduct of this Conference at the earliest possible date. Recommendations
should include the names of those who should be considered for leadership
roles in the Conference and of those who should be invited to attend,
as well as program topics. Recommendations may be made through your
editor, or directly to Jackson M. Anderson, consultant in recreation
and outdoor education, AAHPER 1201-16th St., N.W., Wash. 6, D. C.
Last summer, Gov. George
M. Leader of Pennsylvania appointed a Professional Advisory Committee
for State Careers in Occupational and Recreational Therapy. At the
time, it was estimated that the state needed 319 members of these
two professions. Since that time the state's Mental Health System
has developed standards for recreation personnel to be employed in
18 psychiatric hospitals and four schools for the mentally retarded.
Positions for which the State is now recruiting are as follows:
Activity Instructor ($3,742-$4,778).
Conducts activities under
the direction of a recreation supervisor. Requires graduation from
a four-year college or equivalent with training in a specialized activity
field, such as arts, crafts, music, recreation, sports.
Institutional Music Teacher
Supervises music as part
of the recreation program in a moderate-sized mental institution.
Requires three years' experience with music in an institution and
graduation from a four-year college with a major in music education.
Activity Program Supervisor
Directs a broad recreation
program in a moderate-sized mental hospital. Requires three years'
experience in hospital recreation and a Master's degree or equivalent
in an appropriate field.
Activity Program Supervisor
Directs a broad recreation
program in a large mental hospital. Requires five years' experience
in hospital recreation and a Master's degree or equivalent in an appropriate
Activities Program Coordinator
therapy, recreation, and industrial programs in a mental hospital.
Requires six years' experience in activity in a mental hospital and
a Master's degree or equivalent in an appropriate field.
Those interested should
write to Elizabeth P. Ridgway, O.T.R., Occupational Therapy Consultant,
Bureau of Mental Health, Department of Welfare, Harrisburg, Pa.
One Fundamental Principle
Over the years, and in
different capacities, your editor has been asked certain questions,
the answers to which seem to be linked directly to an understanding
of one fundamental principle which underlies the conduct of recreation
in hospitals. This principle is that hospital recreation personnel
must at all times plan their services to patients with appropriate
medical authority. Typical questions are the following:
∑ Considering our limitations
in staff, should we provide most of our activities in the evening
and on weekends, or should we devote our efforts to the conduct of
weekday, daytime, scheduled activity periods?
∑ Should we attempt to
offer activities for all patients or should we concentrate our efforts
on smaller groups of patients with more or less favorable prognoses?
∑ How far should we go
in "urging" patients to participate in activities?
∑ Should we include boxing
in our programs?
∑ Are off-station strips,
field days, carnivals, and special events of sufficient value to warrant
the amount of time they consume?
∑ How far can we entrust
the conduct of activities for patients to volunteers?
∑ What is the extent to
which hospital aides should participate in the conduct of activities?
∑ Should each member of
our recreation staff be assigned to work with specific types of patients,
or should he be asked to assume responsibility for specific interest
areas, such as sports, music, dramatics, and crafts?
∑ Considering his many
other responsibilities, what percent of his time should the recreation
leader devote to face-to-face contact with patients?
∑ Should the recreation
leader conduct activities on prescription and submit written observations
of patient behavior to patients' physicians?
The hospital recreation
specialist must realize that solutions to the above problems can only
be developed at his own hospital--in cooperative planning with patient's
physicians and medical administrators.
The hospital recreation
specialist who has such questions would do well to contemplate whether
his recreation services are truly planned with physicians, or whether,
in reality, only lip service is given to this basic concept.
Originally published in
the December 1956 JHPER, v27, issue 9, page 52...
North Carolina Institute
Plans are now being developed
for the conduct of the Third Southern Regional Institute on Hospital
Recreation, to be held April 27-29, 1957 at the University of North
Carolina. This biennial institute will be sponsored by the University,
the Veterans Administration, the American National Red Cross, the
North Carolina Recreation Commission, and other professional and service
may be secured from Harold D. Meyer, Box 1139, Chapel Hill, N. C.
in Hospital Recreation
At the 59th AAHPER Convention
and at the recent International Recreation Congress there were conducted
exceptionally well attended panel discussions on the education of
specialists in hospital recreation. These meetings pointed up the
fact that although the Council for the Advancement of Hospital Recreation
has developed standards for the Hospital Recreation Director, Leader,
and Aide (see this column, Jan. 1955), leaders of our profession do
not yet agree upon the specific nature of the education of these specialists.
Problems. Representative of the problems still faced are the following:
∑ Are we to educate primarily
for the activity leadership, the program supervision, or the management
function? Or, are we to attempt to educate for all three? If for all
three, what is the relative importance of each at the undergraduate
level and the graduate level?
∑ If we educate the student
primarily for his first hospital recreation job which probably will
be on the activity leadership level, will he need further education
to assume the supervisory and management functions which come with
advancement? Can this further education be accomplished through in
∑ Should not the activity
leader's first interest be in people? And, is it true that the more
we become interested in subject matter, administration, research,
the less likely we are to retain interest in people? Can the activity
leader, then, have too much academic education?
∑ If we are to stress,
particularly at the undergraduate level, education for the activity
leadership function, should differentiation be made between educating
for leadership in a mental hospital and in a general hospital? Does
leadership in a hospital for retarded children differ from that in
a veterans hospital, or in a crippled children's camp?
∑ Does the hospital recreation
job differ significantly from other recreation positions? Less than
a half dozen universities offer a specialty in hospital recreation,
yet thousands of recreation personnel are doing creditable jobs in
hospitals. Where do we hope eventually to improve this performance
in the hospital setting?
∑ Can we set our education
requirements too high for our own survival? Where are we going to
get the number of highly qualified recreation leaders which certainly
will be needed in greater numbers as the years pass? If our supply
cannot meet the demand, who will fill the void?
∑ Recognizing that the
lifeblood of any profession is research, how do we hope to encourage
more research and develop an understanding of its importance and techniques,
when we accept a trend toward eliminating the thesis requirement at
the Master's level? To what extend do we plan to look to other professions
for research in our field?
∑ If we were uniformly
to require the theses for the Master's degree, would we develop poorer
administrators, supervisors, and leaders at this level? Should we,
then, encourage research primarily at the Doctorate level?
∑ At what level, or levels,
should the student receive his field experience in hospital recreation?
What should be the length of this internship and of what training
should it consist? Trend Toward Agreement. It is encouraging to observe
an increasing general concern in the above problems and to note a
perceptible trend toward agreement on their solution. Eventually we
will probably agree that the hospital recreation activity leader should
have the equivalent of a Bachelor's degree in recreation with orientation
and field experience in a hospital or clinic; that the hospital recreation
supervisor and/or administrator should specialize in hospital recreation
(or similar title) at the Master's level; and that true research in
hospital recreation should, for the most part, be relegated to the