Research Article  |   November 2013
Art-Based Occupation Group Reduces Parent Anxiety in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed-Methods Study
Author Affiliations
  • Laurie E. Mouradian, ScD, ATR, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Program Director, School of Occupational Therapy, Husson University, 1 College Circle, Bangor, ME 04401; Mouradianl@Husson.edu. At the time of the study, she was Program Director, Oklahoma Infant Transition Program, and Co-Director, Sooner Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Program Training Center, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
  • Beth W. DeGrace, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science, College of Allied Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
  • David M. Thompson, PT, PhD, is Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City
Article Information
Complementary/Alternative Approaches / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Mental Health
Research Article   |   November 2013
Art-Based Occupation Group Reduces Parent Anxiety in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit: A Mixed-Methods Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 692-700. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.007682
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November/December 2013, Vol. 67, 692-700. doi:10.5014/ajot.2013.007682
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. We examined whether an art-based occupation group using scrapbooking in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) would reduce parent stress, operationalized as anxiety. We also wanted to understand the parents’ lived experience of the group.

METHOD. Forty parents from a Level 3 NICU in a large metropolitan hospital participated. We administered the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory preactivity and postactivity along with a brief interview.

RESULTS. The decline in parents’ mean state anxiety (12.7 points, SD = 11.8; p < .0001) was clinically significant. The decline in mean trait anxiety (2.6 points, SD = 5.2; p = .0036) was statistically significant but not clinically meaningful. Parents said that participation offered distraction and engagement, pleasure, relaxation, a sense of hope, and an opportunity to share.

CONCLUSION. An art-based occupation group using scrapbooking was an effective brief intervention to reduce parent anxiety in the neonatal intensive care unit; parent interviews suggested that participation has broad clinical implications for parent well-being.