Eastern Michigan University

David W. Thomas, Ed.D., CTRS

Professor and Program Director for Therapeutic Recreation

David W. Thomas, Ed.D., CTRS 363 Marshall




  • Ed.D. - Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • M.A. - University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
  • B.A. - University of Western Colorado, Gunnison, CO

Teaching Interests

Efficacy of Therapeutic Recreation interventions, therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, leisure and aging, clinical assessment, protocol development, research methods, quality improvement.

Selected Presentations and/or Publications

  • Thomas, D., & Wolfe, R. (In Press). A preliminary study on educating hospitalized geriatric vascular patients on the use of movement-induced computer games to improve exercise attitudes. Activities, Adaptation & Aging.
  • Thomas, D., Yeshmanova, A., Akanova, A., Umutbayeva, G., Abikulova, A., & Chaikovska, V. (2016) Development of a memory center for older adults in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 15(3), 1-8.
  • Thomas, D. (2014). Wandering behavior and Alzheimer’s disease. Ukrainian Ministry of Health: Archives of Psychiatry, 20(4), 16-17.    
  • Thomas, D. (2013). Active video games may improve attitudes about exercise. MRPA Professional Quarterly, 5(3), 20.
  • Thomas, D., & Smith, M. (2009). The effect of music on caloric consumption among nursing home residents with dementia. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 33 (1), 1-16.
  • Thomas, D. (2008). Ukranian inpatient dementia care: A survey of two neuropsychiatric hospitals. Journal of Social Research and Practice, 7(2).
  • Thomas, D., Glogoski, C., Johnson, J. (2006). The effect of a supervised walking program on wandering among residents with dementia. Activities, Adaptation and Aging, 30, 1-13.
  • Thomas, D. (1999). Evaluating the relationship between premorbid leisure preferences and wandering among patients with dementia. Activities, Adaptation & Aging, 23, 33-48.
  • Thomas, D. & Butts, F. (1998). Leisure Motives of International Elderhostel Participants. Journal of Traveling & Marketing, 7, 31-38.
  • Thomas, D., Heitman, R., and Alexander, T. (1997) The effect of music on bathing cooperation among nursing home residents with dementia. Journal of Music Therapy, 34, 246-259
  • Thomas, D. (1997). Understanding the wanderer: A continuity of personality perspective. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 23, 16-24.
  • Thomas, D. (1996). A case study on the effects of a retrofitted dementia care unit on resident behaviors. American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 11, 8-14.
  • Thomas, D. (1995). Wandering: A proposed definition. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 21, 35-41.

Additional Information

Grant Activity

  • Principle investigator of SCU efficacy to patient/family outcomes. $21,000 grant from Henry Ford Village, 2000-2002.
  • Independent project evaluator for $222,213 federally funded grant from the U.S. Department of Education: "Community Connection Project", Beaument Hospital, 1999-2003.

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