Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 53, Issue 7, pp 756–765 | Cite as

Outcomes of a Therapeutic Fly-Fishing Program for Veterans with Combat-Related Disabilities: A Community-Based Rehabilitation Initiative

  • Jessie L. BennettEmail author
  • Jennifer A. Piatt
  • Marieke Van Puymbroeck
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of a therapeutic fly-fishing program for veterans with combat-related disabilities. A total of 40 veterans participated in the 4-day therapeutic fly-fishing program and this study. The outcomes examined included reducing symptoms of posttraumatic stress (PTS), depression, perceived stress, functional impairment (i.e., work, relationships, physical, and everyday life), increasing self-determination, and leisure satisfaction. Each research participant completed pretest, posttest, and 3-month follow-up questionnaires. Repeated measures MANOVA and ANOVA were conducted to examine the differences between the three time points on each outcomes. The results indicated significant decreases from the pretest to posttest for symptoms of PTS, depression, perceived stress, and functional impairment, and an increase in leisure satisfaction from pretest to 3-month follow-up. These results highlight the use of therapeutic recreation programming for veterans with disabilities as a holistic approach to treatment and recovery.


Fly-fishing Mental health Therapeutic recreation Veterans 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jessie L. Bennett
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer A. Piatt
    • 2
  • Marieke Van Puymbroeck
    • 3
  1. 1.University of New HampshireDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  3. 3.Clemson UniversityClemsonUSA

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