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Recreation Resource Package Client Utilization in Saskatchewan, 2020

 Download Complete Summary of Findings 

 Principal Investigator:      Mary Dwulit, BTR, CTRS

                                                Recreation Therapist

                                                Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatoon

                                                (306) 514 7556

                                                Mary.dwulit@saskhealthauthority.ca

 

Co-Investigator:                 Sherri Nelson, BA-RLS, CTRS

                                                Recreation Therapist, Practice Leader

                                                Saskatchewan Health Authority, Saskatoon

                                                (306) 655 1071

                                                Sherri.nelson@saskhealthauthority.ca

Recreation therapy service is inherently person-centered and specific to the needs of the individual who is receiving service, however, due to restrictions implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic service delivery methods had to be adapted to meet healthcare guidelines. This presented a unique opportunity to conduct a simple research study in the Spring of 2020 to explore the utilization and impact of generalized recreation resource packages (GRRPs) on clients quality of life during the COVID-19 pandemic when physical distancing is recommended, group programs were cancelled and service delivery from health care professionals were being deferred and/or modified for extended periods of time. For this study, GRRPs is defined as a package that is created for a population or demographic group and not specifically for an individual client. This study received ethical and operational approval from the Saskatchewan Health Authority.

Recreation Therapists and Recreation Coordinators within the Saskatchewan Health Authority were invited to take part in this study through purposeful sampling and contacted via an email from the co-investigator. Practitioners who provided packages to patients/clients were asked to follow up with their patients/clients to conduct a simple online research survey through REDCap. No GRRPs were created for the purpose of this study.

This study had 13 individuals who were identified as adults and older adults agree to participate from a variety of settings (Table 1). The majority of participants were community-dwelling (9).

Service Area

 

Practitioners identified packages distributed as covering all domains of health fairly evenly with spiritual being the lesser (Table 2).

Health Domains Covered in GRRPs by Practitioners

Patients/clients primarily received their packages in print format (8), as opposed to electronically and other. When it came to utilization 6/13 said they had not used the resources provided and 2 said they had only used it once. 1 indicated they used the resources 5-7 times a week and 4 said 3-4 times per week. Physical resources were the most utilized resources followed by cognitive. Social and spiritual resources were not identified as being used at all (Table 3). An interesting finding was that when asked if the resources improved their quality of life during this time all 7 that had used the resources indicated that they had. Another surprising finding was that even though only 7/13 said they used the packages, 10 indicated they would like to receive more resources which demonstrated a need for more support from recreation therapy services during the pandemic.

Resource Engagement

Limitations in this study query validity and reliability due to the low number of participants. It is recommended that to best capture this unique moment in time that further investigation is needed and that this study be replicated in a larger scale (i.e. nationally). Another province (AB) has reached out and expressed interest in replicating this study.

It is important that practitioners in the field of recreation therapy continue to follow up with patients/clients and evaluate the effectiveness of service delivery and continuously evaluate programs to best meet patient/client needs. It is equally import to conduct research to contribute to a culture of evidence-based practice and demonstrate legitimacy of service.