Background Previous creative groups had been focused on creative exploration and distraction, however, it was decided that the focus of the creative groups should be more therapeutic, utilising the skills of the Occupational Therapists (OTs) and enabling patients to explore memories, thoughts and feelings. A new six-week legacy project was developed to enable patients to do this.
To develop a six week OT–led therapeutic creative group, based on creating a legacy frame
Enabling patients to use creative activities to explore significant life events
To evaluate the group using an outcome measure and patient feedback.
Methods A legacy project was developed that explored therapeutic aims. Patients were invited to select a theme for their project and bring meaningful items to the group to use in their box frame. The FACIT Spiritual Well-Being (FACIT-Sp) and a non-standardised outcome measure were selected to evaluate the group.
Results Five patients completed the group, one dropped out as they felt unable to cope with the emotions they experienced and one patient died while completing their project. Patients chose legacy projects around topics of travel, career achievements, family, marriage and hobbies. Themes explored through facilitated group discussion as part of the project included: grief, living with a life-threatening condition, death of parents, divorce, anger, reconciliation, children, self-esteem, fear of trusting others and guilt.
Patient feedback from the sessions included quotes such as
‘I feel safe to be me, to discuss and express how I am really feeling’
‘I would like my family to know more about me’
FACIT-Sp demonstrated little or no change.
Conclusion Qualitative feedback was most helpful in demonstrating the impact of the group. A different outcome measure may have been more sensitive to change. The group provided a safe space to explore difficult topics.
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