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Title: Occupation, mental illness and medium security: A study of occupational engagement in two forensic regional secure units
Authors: Stewart, P
Craik, C
Keywords: Time-use;Forensic;Schizophrenia
Issue Date: 2007
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
Citation: The British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 70 (10): 416-425
Abstract: Research investigating occupational experience among people with mental illness has highlighted their difficulties in selecting, organising, valuing, enjoying and competently performing occupations. Although occupational therapy literature consistently identifies environmental factors as key in facilitating successful and valued engagement, few authors have studied the implications of detention in secure mental health settings for this population. This study investigated the occupational experiences of five people with schizophrenia in two forensic regional secure units. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were used, with semi-structured interviews adding depth and subjectivity to Occupational Questionnaire (Smith et al 1986) responses. The quantitative data were analysed using non-parametric analysis, with content analysis applied to the qualitative data. Time-use was characterised predominantly by engagement in passive leisure and rest occupations. This reflects the findings of both inpatient and community-based studies elsewhere and suggests that mental illness is a common factor influencing time-use. The participants chose occupations based on expectations of enjoyment and success, and associations with independence and normality. Significant correlations were found between perceived competence, value and enjoyment (p<0.01), and the participants were more likely to enjoy self-chosen occupations (p<0.05). Forensic occupational therapists must use evidence to optimise resources and deliver interventions that facilitate choice and autonomy and reflect individual needs. Further research with larger samples and longitudinal methodologies will facilitate generalisation and establish temporal perspectives
ISSN: 0308-0226
Appears in Collections:Community Health and Public Health
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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