Importance: The recovery model in mental health involves person-driven care and informed decision making to enhance engagement in meaningful activities and inclusion in society. To facilitate the recovery process, occupational therapy practitioners must support their clients in understanding how their participation in meaningful occupation is intimately related to their health and well-being.
Objective: To explore whether engaging in an occupational reflection intervention on an inpatient psychiatric unit can support the recovery of adults living with serious mental illness (SMI).
Design: Using a phenomenological design, we conducted semistructured interviews to assess whether participation in an occupational reflection intervention supported recovery.
Setting: An inpatient psychiatric unit at a university medical center.
Participants: We recruited 10 adults living with SMI using purposive sampling.
Intervention: Participants engaged in a structured occupational reflection intervention using the Occupational Experience Profile (OEP). The OEP is a time-use diary that captures respondents’ subjective experiences of pleasure, productivity, restoration, and connection in relation to their participation in occupations over 24 hr. Study participants engaged in collaborative analyses regarding their OEP results to explore their subjective experiences in relation to their occupational participation.
Outcomes and Measures: Participant self-report during interviews.
Results: Engaging in structured reflection affected participants’ experiences of recovery by promoting insight into and awareness of how occupations affect mental health, encouraging positive reframing of occupational experience, and facilitating identification of strategies to support recovery and meaningful participation after discharge.
Conclusions and Relevance: Occupational reflection can promote the recovery of adults living with SMI.
What This Article Adds: A structured occupational reflection intervention can help adults living with SMI in inpatient psychiatric units to understand the close relationship between their participation in occupations and their health. This process provides valuable insight to clients regarding how to support their recovery through engagement in meaningful occupation.