Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2021

Document Type


Degree Name

MOT Mental Health & Psychosocial Rehabilitation


Department of Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Vinita Acharya


Mental illness continues to rise with serious adverse effects leading to higher global disability. Occupational therapy has been known to enable clients with mental illness to rebuild their identities and enhance occupational performances. Creative art occupations as an intervention are very much a part of an occupational therapy practice since the profession started. This review aims to address the effectiveness of creative occupations as an occupational therapy intervention to improve and maintain the psychosocial functioning of people with mental illness. PRISMA guidelines were followed and search terms and search strategy ensured all possible study identification for this review. The articles were searched through nine databases and other sources such as PubMed, SCOPUS, CINAHL, Wiley Online, ProQuest, ClinicalKey, Web of Science, CENTRAL trials registry of the Cochrane Collaboration, PROSPERO and library portal. Post title and abstract screening, six full-text studies were selected. A total of six studies met the inclusion criteria. Among all six intervention studies, there was one single group pre-post-test study, one retrospective chart review of two groups, one pre-post-test three groups experimental design, one retrospective chart review, one single group mixed methods, and one randomized controlled trial study, which was the only study with high methodological quality. Based on the quality generated evidence, it is challenging to convincingly comment on the effectiveness of creative occupations in this review. Due to overall low primary research evidence, it shows that the research in occupational therapy about psychosocial outcomes in mental illness is less.