Answered Questions: Monthly News for the Disability Community -April 2015

Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned below is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. With the exception of the NIDILRR Projects and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked. This month’s question is: How does recreational therapy benefit people with mental health disorders? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss the benefits and barriers to leisure, how physical and leisure activities affect the health and recovery of people with mental illness, leisure generated meanings and their effect on persons with mental illness, apps that help returning soldiers with PTSD, and the social impact of education on recreation in a communal context.

NIDILRR Research:

The benefits and barriers to leisure occupations (NARIC Accession Number: J55699) (In English).
This article discusses the importance that leisure activities have in relation to the quality of life of people with neurological disabilities. Leisure activities that are freely chosen provide a sense of personal identity and control. They also help people adapt to life with a disability. Leisure activities provide opportunities for people with neurological disabilities to experience self-worth, creativity, self-expression, and self-efficacy.

Other Research:

Leisure-generated meanings and active living for persons with mental illness (NARIC Accession Number: J67295) (In English).
This study looked at the role of leisure-generated meanings (LGMs) that were experienced by individuals with mental illness from diverse cultures in aiding them to better cope with stress, to adjust to mental illness, to recover from mental illness, and to feel more engaged in life. Researchers interviewed African Americans, Hispanics/Latino Americans, Asian Americans, and European Americans between the ages of 23 and 78 with mental illness (such as bipolar disorder, major depression, and schizophrenia). The results from the study showed that LGMs predicted the adjustment to and recovery from mental illness, stress-coping through leisure, satisfaction with leisure activities, the positive perception of active living, and lower boredom. These results has implications for psychiatric rehabilitation so as to better support people with mental illness from an active living promotion perspective that includes leisure.

Physical activity, leisure, and health for persons with mental illness, (NARIC Accession Number: J59839) (In English).
This article discusses the use of physical activity and leisure as interventions for the promotion of health and recovery in people with mental illness. The discussion includes (1) mental illness and leisure involvement in physical activities, (2) change to mental illness and leisure services benefits, and (3) the historical social assumptions about mental illness.


App designed to helps soldiers with posttraumatic stress disorder returning from the front to return to everyday life (Fox News Latino and MejorTablet)
The Department of Defense has created a new app developed by mental health experts to help soldiers returning from the front to everyday life with posttraumatic stress disorder. The app, “Positive Activity Jackpot”, was designed at the National Center on Telehealth and Technology at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington State. This app provides leisure options to soldiers with the aim to improve, what for some, may be a difficult transition. The app is free, can be used by anyone, and is currently only available for Android systems.


The social impact of education on recreation in a communal context (Investigación y Postgrado)
This article discusses the research of the social impact of education on recreation, especially on aspects like community, social control and health promotion in primary schools and local communities. This article through discussing the research also discusses how education for recreation and the practice of recreation itself acquire importance in the bio-psycho-social aspects of each person.


Leisure and Employment for the Rehabilitation of Severe Mental Disorders (Terapia Ocupacional en Salud Mental)
This article analyzes a bibliographic review of the existing research on leisure and employment as viewed by occupational therapy (OT) and how they relate to people with psychiatric disabilities. Evidence shows that with the application of OT on the areas of leisure and employment benefits people with psychiatric disabilities. The article includes a chart of different psychiatric disabilities (along with cognitive disabilities) and how leisure activities and employment can be beneficial to people with those specific disabilities.


  • Colombia – Beneficios de la Recreacion – This article in PDF format from the Republic of Colombia’s Cultural Ministry discusses the benefits of recreation. The article includes a description of general benefits, the benefits at different life cycles, a “reminder” of the benefits of leisure and recreation, and a “reminder” of the benefits of physical activities. The benefits include the benefits of recreation, leisure, and physical activities on mental health.
  • Peru – The Peruvian Ministry of Health’s Department of Child and Adolescent Mental Health provides mental health services, recreational services related to mental health, and Childhood Mental Health Campaigns, along with a psychiatry and mental health journal that discusses different mental health topics with each publication.
  • USA – It’s Never Too Late to Start Exercising (National Institute on Aging) This telenovela from the National Institute on Aging (NIA) follows Lucy, Pepe, and their friends as they learn about the benefits of exercise and physical activities. This telenovela is part of NIA’s Go4Life campaign (In English).

Further Research:

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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