The effects of engaging in visual art occupations from the perspective of adults with mental disorders: A scoping review
Mental disorders are a global issue with increasing prevalence. Adults who have mental disorders often experience symptoms and difficulties associated with their diagnosis, and also face discrimination, stigma and human rights violations. All this can impact individuals’ engagement in occupation, which in occupational therapy theory, is believed to be closely linked to health and well-being. Among the significant types of occupations, that have been used therapeutically since the beginning of occupational therapy in mental health care, are the occupations related to arts and crafts. While there is a vast amount of research to support the therapeutic potential of these occupations with various populations, the literature on the effects of visual arts for adults with mental disorders have not been previously mapped. Therefore, the aim of this scoping review was to map the literature on the effects of engaging in creative and arts-based occupations related to visual arts from the perspective of adults with mental disorders. The methodology followed the framework provided by Arksey and O’Malley (2005), combined with some suggestions made by Levac et al. (2010). Specifically, Stages 1-5 were implemented, with the addition of critical appraising the included studies. The results of this scoping review were presented through a map of the five P’s; reflecting the categories of Process, People, Product, Person, and Participation, which include different effects related to the engagement in creative and arts-based occupations. Discussion of the results focuses on the range of interpretations provided by the researchers, as well as the unique impact of arts and crafts with this particular population group. Overall, this scoping review indicates that there are numerous positive effects through engagement in arts-based and creative occupations, from the perspective of adults with mental disorders.