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Title: Improving quality of life in CFS/ME through leisure-based arts and crafts activities: A qualitative study
Authors: Reynolds, F
Vivat, B
Publication Date: 2008
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Disability & Rehabilitation. 30 (17) 1279–1288
Abstract: Purpose: To understand the meanings of art-making among a group of women living with the occupational constraints and stigma of CFS/ME. The study explored their initial motives for art-making, and then examined how art-making had subsequently influenced their subjective well-being. Method: Ten women with CFS/ME were interviewed; three provided lengthy written accounts to the interview questions. Findings: Illness had resulted in devastating occupational and role loss. Participants took many years to make positive lifestyle changes. Art-making was typically discovered once participants had accepted the long-term nature of CFS/ME, accommodated to illness, and reprioritised occupations. Several factors then attracted participants specifically to art-making. It was perceived as manageable within the constraints of ill-health. Participants also tended to be familiar with craft skills; had family members interested in arts and crafts, and some desired a means to express grief and loss. Once established as a leisure activity, art-making increased subjective well-being mainly through providing increased satisfaction in daily life, positive self-image, hope, and contact with the outside world. Participants recommended provision of occupational/ recreational counselling earlier in the illness trajectory. Conclusions: Creative art-making occurred as part of a broader acceptance and adjustment process to CFS/ME, and allowed some psychological escape from a circumscribed lifeworld.
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School of Health Sciences and Social Care Research Papers

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