Creative activities as intervention in mental health: Exploring the concept and the occupational value of creative activities as intevention

Publikation: Ph.d. afhandling/ kandidat/ diplomPh.d. afhandlingForskningpeer review

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This thesis focuses on describing the concept of creative activities as intervention (CaI) and the occupational values
experienced in doing CaI. Creative activities are frequently used as interventions in occupational therapy and are
associated with subjective health and wellbeing. There is a lack of clarity in the definitions of the concept and there is
no research presented regarding the experiences of occupational value (OV) when doing CaI.
The aim of the thesis was thus to describe the concept of CaI as defined in occupational therapy literature and explore
how and to what extent people with mental illness experiences OV in doing CaI in a mental health context.
Two studies are included in the thesis. Study I is a concept analysis (including a systematic review) of CaI using 15
selected scientific publications. The results were validated by using a questionnaire sent to a reference panel of
occupational therapists. Study II has an explanatory sequential mixed-methods design. Data were obtained by the
OVal-9 questionnaire at two measure points from 33 participants with severe mental illness, who were participating in
interventions using creative activities. Eight of the participants participated in additional qualitative semi-structured
interviews. Non-parametric statistical methods and manifest content analysis were used for the data analyses.
In Study I, five attributes describing CaI were identified: 1) Often consisting of elements of art and craft using mind
and body, 2) Being experienced as meaningful, 3) Creating creative processes, 4) Developing skills, enhancing
occupational performance and managing everyday life, and 5) Being easy to modify individually or in groups with
different approaches. Three cases were generated from the five attributes to illustrate the integrity of the analysis. The
attributes and the cases were recognized and found relevant for research and practice by the reference panel.
In Study II, a high degree of experienced occupational value was indicated, both at measure point 1 (M1) and measure
point 2 (M2) in the process of doing CaI. The experiences reported were associated with all three dimensions of
occupational value. No statistically significant difference in perceived occupational value was detected after the
process of doing CaI except for one item: “I feel happiness and/or pleasure.
This thesis contributes to the knowledge base in terms of the description of the attributes of CaI and ability of CaI to
facilitate a high level of experienced occupational value. The results are discussed and reasoning on how this specific
intervention benefits to mental health recovery. This knowledge provides research and practice with a shared language
and may develop and facilitate the use of CaI in supporting rehabilitation processes in mental health care.
Bevilgende institution
  • Lund University
Sponsorer for afhandling
Bevillingsdato18 sep. 2020
UdgivelsesstedLund, Sverige
ISBN'er, trykt78-91-7619-973-2
StatusUdgivet - 2020


  • Sundhed, ernæring og livskvalitet