Leisure education and recreation participation : a niche for recreational therapy in South Africa
Weilbach, J. Theron
Caldwell, Linda L.
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The practice of Recreational Therapy/Therapeutic recreation (RT/TR) in South Africa (SA) is currently unrecognized, and whether some of the existing health professions in SA are providing services like those of RT/TR, as practised in the United States of America, is unclear. Biokinetics, physiotherapy and occupational therapy are the three professions currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa with similarities in their definitions of scopes of practice to the definition of RT/TR. A qualitative interpretive descriptive study-design was followed, consisting of thematic analysis of 30 semi-structured telephonic interviews, which were conducted with biokineticists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists in private practice. Data analysis resulted in the identification of three themes. Although functional intervention programmes are presented by biokineticists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, their programmes could not be classified as RT/TR orientated. There is a gap that could be filled by RT/TR in SA, in terms of the provision of leisure education and recreation participation programmes. This study provides information about the services available and identifies the gaps in the services of the three healthcare professions. The study concludes with a proposed continuum that indicates which services are currently provided and where RT/TR can fit into the current healthcare sector.
- Faculty of Health Sciences