Abstract

Occupational therapists have used activity analysis to ensure the therapeutic use of activities. Recently, they have begun to explore the affective components of activities. This study explores the feelings (affective responses) that chronic psychiatric patients have toward selected activities commonly used in occupational therapy. Twenty-two participating chronic psychiatric patients were randomly assigned to one of three different activity groups: cooking, craft, or sensory awareness. Immediately following participation, each subject was asked to rate the activity by using Osgood’s semantic differential, which measures the evaluation, power, and action factors of affective meaning. Data analysis revealed significant differences between the cooking activity and the other two activities on the evaluation factor. The fact that the three activities were rated differently is evidence that different activities can elicit different responses in one of the target populations of occupational therapy. The implications of these findings to occupational therapists are discussed and areas of future research are indicated.

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