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Visual art in physical rehabilitation: Experiences of people with neurological conditions


Symons, J and Clark, H and Williams, K and Hansen, E and Orpin, P, Visual art in physical rehabilitation: Experiences of people with neurological conditions, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74, (1) pp. 44-52. ISSN 0308-0226 (2011) [Refereed Article]

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DOI: doi:10.4276/030802211X12947686093729


Aims: The aims of this study were to understand the experience of participation in visual art from the perspective of adults undergoing outpatient physical rehabilitation and to determine whether art has a place in this context. Method: This qualitative study involved interviewing adults who attended a weekly art class run by a qualified art teacher and occupational therapists in an outpatient physical rehabilitation setting. Nine participants with neurological conditions discussed their experience of the programme and the goals they were working towards or had achieved through painting. Findings: The themes that emerged from the study show that art contributed to the participants meeting their individual rehabilitation goals. It also assisted the participants in using time, increasing enjoyment, regaining confidence and planning for engagement in future activities. All these achievements were seen by the participants to contribute to their rehabilitation or recovery. The identified themes align with the aims of rehabilitation and are similar to findings from many other studies investigating the use of art by people affected by illness or disability. Conclusion: The findings of this study inform clinical practice in the use of visual art with clients in rehabilitation and validate its place in a physical rehabilitation programme.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Art, rehabilitation, occupational therapy
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology of health
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Hansen, E (Dr Emily Hansen)
UTAS Author:Orpin, P (Dr Peter Orpin)
ID Code:69664
Year Published:2011
Web of Science® Times Cited:20
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2011-05-11
Last Modified:2012-03-19
Downloads:18 View Download Statistics

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