Effects of a control-relevant therapeutic recreation intervention on older adults' perceived leisure competence and control

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Zmitrowicz, Magda
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of control-relevant therapeutic recreation intervention on perceived leisure competence and control among older adults attending a hospital day centre program. Gerontology literature supports the contention that control-enhancing interventions affect physical and psychological well-being, and contribute to increased life satisfaction and successful aging of older individuals. This investigation was a pioneer attempt to assess the relationship between control and psychological variables in older adults living independently and attending a community based hospital day centre. Thirty-four older adults, age 55 and over, who attended the Concordia Hospital Day Centre in Summer of 1999 participated in this investigation. The participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions (i.e. enhanced control and responsibility group and no personal control group). Those assigned to the experimental group participated in a seven week control enhancing recreationprogram designed to increase perceptions of leisure competence and control. Pre- and post-intervention data collection interviews were conducted with each participant. The results from this research indicated that control relevant therapeutic recreation intervention may be a vehicle by which older individuals with decreased mental and/or physical functioning can enhance leisure competence and control.