Grad Student Wins Research Award

Posted on October 28, 2020

Graduate Student wins award for animal assisted therapy research

Kim Barbosa, CTR Masters student majoring in Therapeutic Recreation, was awarded a National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) Research Grant to evaluate the current outcomes, perceptions and barriers of Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) interventions in clinical settings with an emphasis in behavioral health settings.

The goals to be achieved from Barbosa’s research include a better understanding of the AAT interventions used by CTRS’s.  Additionally, a final product will include a manual for tips and outcomes for behavioral health settings.

The human-animal bond has been used in diverse manners to benefit humans across time through the broad term Animal-Assisted Interventions (AAI). Animal-Assisted Therapy (AAT) falls under the umbrella term of AAI and is a modality that a variety of health care professionals use across various settings and populations.

The purpose of this study is to investigate the prevalence of AAT in Recreational Therapy practice and perceptions of AAT as an intervention. Findings from this study will provide insight into AAT interventions utilized by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS), barriers experienced in implementing AAT, training CTRSs received in implementing AAT, and goals of AAT.

The study is sent to participants via an email with a link to the study. A random sample of CTRSs was selected to participate from the NCTRC email database and an incentive award of Amazon gift cards was offered to increase response rate. Funding of this study is provided through the NCRTA Research Grant from the North Carolina Recreational Therapy Association, and the Silvio and Gale Bedini Professional Development Award from the CTR department.

Kimberly Barbosa (M.S., Dec 2020)