Research Proposal Presentation London Region College of Occupational Therapy Conference Lesley Osbiston September 2006 Does an understanding of play and flow lead to greater understanding of creativity and leisure in Occupational Therapy?
Relevance of the research topic to OT
A definition of relevant terms
An overview of the literature
Defining the research question
Relevance to Occupational Therapy :
Creativity and play are often used as approaches
without a common definition
Leisure - ambiguous definition
Productivity, creativity, play or relaxation?
Flow - a suggested resolution between the dichotomies of leisure and play (Parham, 1996); similarities with OT theory despite limited use
Definitions of Play:
Evolves into playfulness during adolescence
A medium for intervention
A paradox, due to associations of fun facilitating a lack
of seriousness by the OT profession
(Vandenburg & Keilhofner, 1982; Bundy, 1993)
Components of play in children (Guitard, Ferland & Dutil, 2005)
Flow is a subjective psychological experience that occurs during total absorption in activities (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975)
Loss of ego
Comparable to the stages
of change necessary for
adaptation during OT:
The Flow Channel (Csikszentmihalyi, 2002)
Creativity is complex and indistinct: ‘a continuum for conscious to unconscious, simulated to natural and from real to symbolic…contain[ing] elements that are unstructured, ambiguous and allow for self-expression’ (Mosey, 1987; p179)
Schmid (2004) investigated meanings of creativity with OT practitioners
Difficulties to define, which suggest greater difficulties for service-users
Links to crafts/expressive activities
Choice was associated with OT skill over client selection
Literature Review Play and Flow
Persson’s (1996) case study of creative occupations
with chronic pain patients was the only study identified
to investigate both play and flow
Simultaneous consideration of play/flow restricted understanding of the relative importance of play and flow, supporting need for independent investigation
Credibility for flow was reduced due to a lack of autotelic activities: the researcher planned the workshops without declared participant input
Components of playfulness in adults and their relationships (Guitard, Ferland & Dutil, 2005)
Evidence of flow as a qualitative primary research topic was limited. Findings referenced to flow were associated with intrinsic motivation and the just-right-challenge , supporting relevance to OT (Dickerson, 2000; Fieldhouse, 2003; Scheerer, Cahill, Kirby & Lane, 2004)
Quantitative studies of flow supported integrity of the flow channel, with art/hobbies most likely to engender flow (Massimini, Csikszentmihalyi & Carli, 1987)
However, a further study with healthy adults found flow occurred most frequently during work, attributed to many leisure activities requiring low-level skills and challenges, which suggested flow occurrence may differ according to health status ( Csikszentmihalyi & Le Fevre, 1989)
A majority of studies regarding creativity were linked to textile and craft activity participation, of which repetitive and structured methods were comparable to routine activities of daily living
Intellectual and kinaesthetic forms of creativity were identified
References to flow included included feelings of control, timelessness and pleasure
Association with playfulness was through problem-solving (intellectual creativity), spontaneity and continual reference to creativity
To independently consider the meanings of the concepts and components of flow and playfulness (creativity, curiosity and spontaneity)
To validate the existence of subjective flow experiences.
To identify self-perceived creative occupations
To identify any relationships between play and flow
The research proposal question What are the meanings of creativity, curiosity and spontaneity during leisure activities? – An investigation to improve an understanding of playfulness and identify a relationship to flow, towards developing OT creative intervention
A proposed Model for Creative Intervention to facilitate engagement and improve client-centred practice
For further information please contact:
Bundy, A. C. (1993). Assessment of Play and Leisure: Delineation of the Problem. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 47 (30); 217-222.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1975). Beyond Boredom & Anxiety. USA: Josey-Bass Inc. Publishers.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2002). Flow: The classic work to achieve happiness. USA: Harper & Row.
Dickie, V. A. (2004). From drunkard’s Path to Kansas Cyclones: discovering Creativity Inside the Blocks. Journal of Occupational Science. 11 (2); 51-57.
Emerson, H. (1998). Flow and Occupation: A review of the literature. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 65 (1); 37-45.
Fieldhouse, J. (2003). The Impact of an Allotment Group on mental health Clients’ Health, Wellbeing and Social Networking. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 66 (7); 286-296.
Guitard, P., Ferland, F ., & Dutil, E. (2005). Towards a Better Understanding of Play in Adults. Occupational Therapy Journal of Research/ Occupation, Participation and Health. 25 (1). 9-22.
Keilhofner, G. (2002). Doing and becoming: Occupational Change and Development. In: Keilhofner, G. (ed.) A Model of Human Occupation: Theory and application. (3rd ed.). Philadelphia. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
Massimini, F., Csikszentmihalyi, M., & Carli, M. (1987). The Monitoring of Optimal Experience: A Tool for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Journal of Nervous and mental Disease. 175 (9); 545-59.
Mosey, A. C. (1987). Psychosocial Components of Occupational Therapy. USA: Raven Press.
Persson, D. (1996). Play and Flow in an Activity Group – A Case study of Creative Occupations with Chronic Pain Patients. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. 3 ; 33-42.
Reynolds, F. (1997). Coping with chronic illness and disability through creative needlecraft. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. 60 (8); 352-356.
Reynolds, F. (2002). Symbolic aspects of coping with chronic illness through textile arts. Arts and Psychotherapy. 29 ; 99-106.
Reynolds, F. (2004a). Textile Art Promoting Well-being in Long-term Illness: Some General and Specific Aspects. Journal of Occupational Science. 11 (2); 58-67.
Reynolds, F. (2004b). Conversations about creativity and chronic illness II: textile artists coping with long-term health problems reflect on the creative process. Creativity Research Journal. 16 (1); 79-89.
Reynolds, F. & Prior, S. (2003). ‘A life-style coat hanger’: A phenomenological study of the meanings of artwork for women coping chronic illness and disability. Disability Rehabilitation. 25(14); 785-794.
Schmid, T. (2004). Meanings of Creativity within Occupational Therapy Practice. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal. 51( 2); 80-88.
Vandenberg, B. & Keilhofner, G. (1982). Play in Evolution, Culture, and Individual Adaptation: Implications for Therapy. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 36 (1); 20-28.