Therapeutic Recreation Journal Call for Papers - Special Topic

Measuring Evidence-Based Outcomes and Practices

Although the terminology used in the field has changed over time, the core intent of professional and regulatory agencies remains documenting quality outcomes through the application of accountability processes that measure client improvements in health, safety, and well-being.

One of the core competencies for health professionals as described by the Institute of Medicine (2003) is the use of evidence-based practice (EBP). This report defines EBP as the integration of the best research with clinical expertise and client values and preferences; the therapist applies the best scientific evidence to each client’s unique situation to make clinical decisions (Sullivan & Decker, 2009). A systematic approach is used to identify documentable information that demonstrates intervention effectiveness (Stumbo, 2003). Outcome measurement quantifies data and compares relative costs of achieving outcomes (Neuman, 2003). With outcome measurements, practices are based on evidence of practice effectiveness (e.g., Does A program produce B outcomes with C consumers? [Stumbo & Peterson, 2009]). Using evidence-based practices, professionals rely on the best available information gained through scientific processes to improve performance and remain accountable.

Recreation therapy professionals must continue to ask and answer the following questions:

  • How do we know that what we do is effective?
  • How can our practice and service be improved?

While appearing to be simple, these questions challenge the profession daily as it continues seeking to clearly establish and gain recognition for its unique role and function. Several authors have noted a number of challenges to delivery of evidence-based practices while encouraging professionals and educators to take action necessary to advance professional practice through scientific endeavors and documentation of best practices (Negley, 2013; Stumbo & Pegg, 2010).

The Therapeutic Recreation Journal is soliciting manuscripts that address evidence-based practices, outcome measurement, and accountability for the TR process. Topics may address but are not limited to:

  • Best practices (e.g., provision of inclusive services)
  • Clinical practice guidelines and protocols
  • Evidence resulting from qualitative and quantitative research formats (e.g., testimonials, case studies, and experimental designs)
  • Evidence-based delivery models
  • Intervention effects and outcomes
  • Objectives and evaluation of effectiveness
  • Outcome measurement (e.g., tools and techniques)
  • Program evaluation
  • Research on outcomes
  • Theory-based outcomes

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please go to If you have any problems submitting your paper online, please use the “contact us” link on the website.

Manuscripts must be submitted by June 1, 2014.

Download a PDF of this call for papers