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MS research update - Getting creative: how art-making can help well-being - 17 September 2013

Summary

This study looked at whether art-making was a beneficial leisure activity for people with MS. They found that participants valued art-making as it contributed to their satisfaction with life, filled some of their spare time and gave them a sense of time well spent. When deeply immersed in their art, they had a break from worries about their MS.

Creative art classes gave people opportunities to learn as well as the chance to socialise with others who had a similar interest. The whole process of making their art, as well as having the final product, was very positive. The benefits included feelings of increased self worth and emotional well being.

Most of the participants felt that they could express important aspects of themselves through their art. Also, art helped them to maintain their identity and to open "new doors" at a time when MS might be restricting their life in other ways.

Background

For some people, being diagnosed with MS is a prompt to think about what is most important to them in life. Some may decide to change their work-life balance or to take up activities that had been put aside. For others, the symptoms of MS can make their usual leisure activities too difficult or tiring so they are looking for a gentler, but still fulfilling, activity.

How this study was carried out

This study looked at whether art-making was a beneficial leisure activity for people with MS. Two men and three women in Ireland, aged 45 to 65, were interviewed.

What was found

The participants valued art-making as it contributed to their satisfaction with life, filled some of their spare time and gave them a sense of time well spent. When deeply immersed in their art, they had a break from worries about their MS.

Creative art classes gave people opportunities to learn as well as the chance to socialise with others who had a similar interest. The whole process of making their art, as well as having the final product, was very positive. The benefits included feelings of increased self worth and emotional well being.

Most of the participants felt that they could express important aspects of themselves through their art. Also, art helped them to maintain their identity and to open "new doors" at a time when MS might be restricting their life in other ways.

What does it mean?

The authors suggest that art-making can be a good way to increase someone's sense of fulfillment, to support a feeling of personal identity and to increase well being. Art and craft classes had the added benefits of allowing personal development and giving opportunities to socialise. Welcoming and accessible classes were helpful as people felt more encouraged about joining them.

The researchers comment that some people with MS take up creative activities for the first time after diagnosis although an earlier interest in arts and crafts helps with initial confidence and can provide a skills base to build on.

Hunt L, Nikopoulou-Smyrni P, Reynolds F.
"It gave me something big in my life to wonder and think about which took over the space... and not MS": managing well-being in multiple sclerosis through art-making.
Disabil Rehabil. 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

 

Research by topic areas...

Symptoms and symptom management

Dawes H, Collett J, Meaney A, et al.
Delayed recovery of leg fatigue symptoms following a maximal exercise session in people with multiple sclerosis.
Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2013 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Drugs in development

Filippi M, Rocca MA, Pagani E, et al.
Placebo-controlled trial of oral laquinimod in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence of an effect on brain tissue damage.
J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2013 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Havrdova E, Giovannoni G, Stefoski D, et al.
Disease-activity-free status in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis treated with daclizumab high-yield process in the SELECT study.
Mult Scler. 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Other treatments

Lorente Fernández L, Monte Boquet E, Pérez-Miralles F, et al.
Clinical experiences with cannabinoids in spasticity management in multiple sclerosis.
Neurologia. 2013 Sep 10. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Rehabilitation

Gutiérrez RO, Galán Del Río F, Cano de la Cuerda R, et al.
A telerehabilitation program by virtual reality-video games improves balance and postural control in multiple sclerosis patients.
NeuroRehabilitation. 2013 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Carers

Hughes N, Locock L, Ziebland S.
Personal identity and the role of 'carer' among relatives and friends of people with multiple sclerosis.
Soc Sci Med. 2013 Nov;96:78-85.
abstract

Peters M, Jenkinson C, Doll H, et al.
Carer quality of life and experiences of health services: a cross-sectional survey across three neurological conditions.
Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2013 Jun 25;11:103.
abstract
Read the full text of this paper

Physical activity

Motl RW, Pilutti LA, Learmonth YC, et al.
Clinical importance of steps taken per day among persons with multiple sclerosis.
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 4;8(9)
abstract
Read the full text of this paper

Pathophysiology

Velez de Mendizabal N, Hutmacher MM, Troconiz IF, et al.
Predicting relapsing-remitting dynamics in multiple sclerosis using discrete distribution models: a population approach.
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 5;8(9)
abstract
Read the full text of this paper

Schutzer SE, Angel TE, Liu T, et al.
Gray matter is targeted in first-attack multiple sclerosis.
PLoS One. 2013 Sep 10;8(9)
abstract
Read the full text of this paper

Kolbe SC, Kilpatrick TJ, Mitchell PJ, et al.
Inhibitory saccadic dysfunction is associated with cerebellar injury in multiple sclerosis.
Hum Brain Mapp. 2013 Sep 3. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

Other

Bragazzi NL.
Infodemiology and infoveillance of multiple sclerosis in Italy.
Mult Scler Int. 2013
abstract
Read the full text of this paper

Osborne LA, Middleton RM, Jones KH, et al.
Desirability and expectations of the UK MS Register: Views of people with MS.
Int J Med Inform. 2013 Sep 7. [Epub ahead of print]
abstract

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