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Utilization of socially assistive robots in recreational therapy

Lori Eldridge, MS, CTRS, Prevention Insights, School of Public Health, Indiana University, Bloo, Shinichi Nagata, PhD, CTRS, Jennifer Piatt, PhD, CTRS, Cedomir Stanojevic, MS, EAT, CTRS, Selma Šabanović, PhD, Casey Bennett, PhD, Natasha Randall, MS


Socially assistive robots (SARs) may impact health outcomes when facilitated by recreational therapists (RTs). It is unclear if RTs have the knowledge or perceive SARs as a relevant facilitation technique. This study sought to understand if a professional continuing education session on SARs improves comfort level. Seventy RTs and students attended the training and completed a retrospective survey. The findings suggest that the training improved participants’ interest and willingness to incorporate SARs, felt less intimidated by the prospect of incorporating SARs, less afraid of making a mistake while using SARs, and found SARs to be a relevant intervention. Further studies are warranted to understand the use of SARs within RT practice. Incorporating emerging technology into practice may create innovative therapeutic interventions to address clinical outcomes.



recreational therapy, socially assistive robots, intervention, emerging technology, SARs training

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