Community-Based Recreational Therapy for Veterans with Behavioral Health Disorders: Impacts on Quality of Life, Participation, and Happiness


Identifying evidenced-based interventions that improve health outcomes for Veterans with behavioral health disorders is a national priority. Thus, this study examined the outcomes of a community-based recreational therapy (RT) program focused on health promotion for Veterans with behavioral health disorders. Fifty-five Veterans with disabilities completed pretest and posttest questionnaires that assessed Quality of Life (QOL), Participation, and Happiness. Significant improvements were found in Overall QOL, Environmental QOL, Psychological QOL, QOL Rated, Satisfaction with Health, Participation, and Happiness. Younger age and female gender were significantly associated with improved Overall QOL. Factors significantly associated with improved Environmental QOL included younger age and non-Caucasian race. Older age was significantly associated with improved Participation. Female gender was positively associated with improved Happiness, while being divorced/separated was negatively associated with Happiness. These results have important implications for the use and expansion of community-based RT health promotion programs for Veterans with behavioral health disorders.


Recreation Management and Policy

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Community Mental Health Journal



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