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The experiences of veterans with mental health problems participating in an occupational therapy and resilience workshop intervention: an exploratory study

Vaughan-Horrocks, Hannah, Reagon, Carly and Seymour, Alison 2021. The experiences of veterans with mental health problems participating in an occupational therapy and resilience workshop intervention: an exploratory study. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 84 (9) , pp. 531-540. 10.1177/0308022620977818

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Abstract

Introduction Occupational therapy has long had a strong presence in military mental healthcare. Today’s veterans have complex needs and can face challenges reintegrating into civilian life. This exploratory study investigated whether veterans receiving mental health treatment who participated in a bespoke occupational therapy and resilience workshop intervention improved their perceived participation in everyday life. Method An interpretivist hermeneutic phenomenological approach was used to explore veterans’ perspectives. Ten participants took part in two semistructured focus groups. Thematic analysis was used to identify and analyse patterns within the data. Findings Most participants developed occupational goals and started to make lifestyle changes; participants developed an appreciation of the value of occupation; participants developed insight into their recovery journeys; and value was placed on the ‘healing power’ of the group. Conclusion This exploratory study provides preliminary evidence to suggest occupational therapy was influential in helping participants understand the impact of occupation on health and start making lifestyle changes. Participants also reflected on their recovery journeys. The benefits of doing this within a group environment appear to have been particularly therapeutic. Original occupational therapy research in this specialism is sparse. This novel study provides insight that can further discussion and enhance understanding about what the profession can offer this client group.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Royal College of Occupational Therapists
ISSN: 0308-0226
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 5 July 2021
Date of Acceptance: 3 November 2020
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2021 19:18
URI: http://orca.cardiff.ac.uk/id/eprint/142379

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