Date of Award

January 2011

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Recreation and Park Administration

First Advisor

Jon McChesney

Department Affiliation

Recreation and Park Administration

Second Advisor

Michelle Davis Gerken

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science


Currently, there is a paucity of research examining the extent to which Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) is being used by the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS). The purpose of this study was to examine the prevalence of EBP used by the CTRS in the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) southern district of the United States. This observational study investigated the use of EBP in the intervention planning process for client treatment. A sample of five hundred randomly selected CTRS from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) were surveyed, and 102 completed the survey, yielding a 20.4% response rate. The results clearly demonstrate that EBP is used at least some of the time by a majority of all CTRS. However, this survey indicates that EBP is not being used by most CTRS a majority of the time. Other results showed that only 27.7% of the respondents seek out research related to their clinical practice and evidence for validation 75% of the time or always. 31.7% apply research results to clinical practice 75% of the time or always. 33.7% use research to assist in developing RT intervention plans 75% of the time or always. 25.7% base their clinical decisions on research evidence 75% of the time or always, and 45.6% use RT interventions based on EBT 75% of the time or always. The goal of the RT profession should be to increase the use of research results and EBP so that all practicing CTRS are using them most, if not all of the time. EBP is a means towards effective client treatment which furthermore may aid in the survival and permanent inclusion of the RT profession in the health care world