David Thomas

A photo of David Thomas

Professor and Program Director for Therapeutic Recreation

Health Sciences

363 Marshall


[email protected]


  • Ed.D., Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • MA, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO
  • BA, University of Western Colorado, Gunnison, CO


  • Avery, J., Thomas, D., & Myshakivska, O. (2023). The effect of Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) on psychological distress among older adults in Ukraine. BMC Geriatrics, 23:(248).
  • Thomas, D. & Scazzero, J. (2018): Development of the Activity Analysis on Cognition Scale(AACS), Activities, Adaptation & Aging, DOI: 10.1080/01924788.2018.1528830
  • Thomas, D., & Wolfe, R. (2017). A preliminary study on educating hospitalized geriatric vascular patients on the use of movement-induced computer games to improve exercise attitudes. Activities, Adaptation & Aging.41(2), 129-137.
  • 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. (2010). Abstract:  Japanese group homes:  New alternatives for the elderly.  Michigan Academician, 40
  • 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.


Teaching Interests

  • Therapeutic interventions for people with dementia, leisure and aging, clinical assessment, research methods.

Grant Activity

  • Principle investigator of SCU efficacy to patient/family outcomes. $21,000 grant from Henry Ford Village, 20002002
  • Independent project evaluator for $222,213 federally funded grant from the U.S. Department of Education: "Community Connection Project", Beaument Hospital, 19992003
  • Internal awards totaling $39,752