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Title: “It gave me something big in my life to wonder and think about which took over the space … and not MS”: Managing well-being in multiple sclerosis through art-making
Authors: Hunt, L
Nikopoulou-Smyrni, P
Reynolds, F
Keywords: Art;Creativity;Flow;Multiple sclerosis;Occupation;Self-esteem;Well-being
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Informa Healthcare
Citation: Disability and Rehabilitation, 36(14): pp.1139-1147, (2014)
Abstract: Background and aim: Individuals living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) often face progressive loss of function, uncertainty and disruption to self-image and valued roles. Previous studies show that creative self-expression is valued by some people living with long-term illness, yet its meaning for people living with MS is unclear. This research study explored the meanings of leisure-based visual art-making for people living with MS. Method: This qualitative study followed guidelines for Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Single semi-structured interviews were conducted with five adults (2 males; 3 females; 40–65 years), recruited from MS Ireland. Findings: Participants valued art-making for contributing to a more satisfying way of life; for filling occupational voids and using time well. Deep immersion offered respite from worry about illness. Creative classes offered social camaraderie and opportunities for learning and development. Art-making processes and products were highly affirmative, increasing emotional well-being and promoting self-worth. Most felt that they expressed valued aspects of self through their art. Art-making appeared to assist with identity maintenance, accommodating functional losses associated with MS whilst opening “new doors”. Conclusion: Art-making offered a multi-faceted means of supporting identity and increasing fulfilment in lives that were restricted in many ways by MS.
Description: This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final published article is available from the link below. Copyright @ 2014 Informa UK Ltd.
ISSN: 1139-1147
Appears in Collections:Occupational Therapy
Dept of Clinical Sciences Research Papers

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