Original Research

The perceptions of adult psychiatric inpatients with major depressive disorder towards occupational therapy activity-based groups

Enos M. Ramano, Marianne de Beer, Johannes L. Roos
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 27 | a1612 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1612 | © 2021 Enos M. Ramano, Marianne de Beer, Johannes L. Roos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 August 2020 | Published: 26 February 2021

About the author(s)

Enos M. Ramano, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Marianne de Beer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Johannes L. Roos, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Occupational therapists have been using group therapy as their preferred treatment modality in mental healthcare since the origin of the profession. In private mental healthcare units, major depressive disorder (MDD) is the most common psychiatric disease. Occupational therapists use individual and group therapy to treat adult inpatients with MDD. Little is known about the perceptions and experiences of adult inpatients with MDD regarding occupational therapy activity-based groups.

Aim: To describe the perceptions and experiences of adult psychiatric inpatients with MDD towards occupational therapy activity-based groups. This article reports on the perceptions of adult psychiatric inpatients with MDD, which formed part of a larger study.

Setting: The study took place at two private general hospitals in Gauteng province, South Africa, each with a psychiatric ward.

Methods: The researcher used a qualitative explorative descriptive design. Accessible participants were selected using convenience sampling. Only consenting participants took part in the study. Data were collected during focus group discussions. Data were thematically analysed.

Results: Participants’ perceptions could be placed into one of four themes: (1) experience improved mood, (2) learned coping skills, (3) regained self-esteem and (4) becoming part of the solution to face life challenges.

Conclusion: Activities that are unique to occupational therapy profession can benefit inpatients with MDD. This supports the profession’s historical beliefs, assumptions and foundations regarding therapeutic use of activities. According to these inpatients, group activities improved their overall mental health.


Keywords

major depressive disorder; occupational therapy; activity-based groups; adult psychiatric inpatients; perceptions; occupational therapy groups

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