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Title: Mental health clients confirm the value of occupation in building competence and self-identity
Authors: Mee, J
Sumsion, T
Craik, C
Issue Date: 2004
Publisher: College of Occupational Therapists
Citation: The British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 67 (5): 225-233
Abstract: Engagement in occupation is proposed to enhance health and wellbeing. To date, few studies have demonstrated this in relation to people with mental health problems. This study aimed to evaluate occupational therapy’s beliefs in the restorative powers of occupation from the perspective of people with enduring mental health problems living in the community. Qualitative research methods were used in two mental health day service settings: a workshop, where woodwork was provided as a medium for creative therapy, and a drop-in facility. Participant observation was undertaken over 10 sessions and, during six in-depth interviews, the clients were asked about their occupational experiences and whether they had perceived any benefits from engagement in occupation. Content and inductive analysis as well as concept mapping of the data resulted in emergent themes and subthemes. Occupation was identified both as a means for building competence through the acquisition of skills, coping with challenges and achieving success and as a medium for developing self-identity through the drive to create, feelings of usefulness and engendering a sense of self. These themes help to support the need for an increase in the provision of meaningful occupation for people with enduring mental health problems. However, further research is required to develop and corroborate the findings.
ISSN: 0308-0226
Appears in Collections:Community Health and Public Health
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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