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Patient preferences deserve consideration as they play a role in engagement with psychosocial interventions. This study sought to understand more about preferences and expectations of the arts therapies, in order to support informed decision-making. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 17 participants in a trial of group music therapy, art therapy and dance-movement therapy. Audio recordings were transcribed. Data relating to the process of choosing their preferred arts therapies groups, expectations and experiences of the groups were analysed using framework analysis. Three overarching themes were found relating to the experience of choosing an arts therapies group and subsequently attending it: past experiences of the art forms, social interactions in the groups and expectations of helpfulness. Familiarity and perceived capability were important factors for the therapy experiences. Although each participant had a unique decision-making process, the themes offer understanding of common considerations when making a choice about engagement with the arts therapies. Clinicians should guide discussions around past experiences of the art forms, group dynamics and therapy aims during shared decision making for the arts therapies. © 2021 The Author(s).


Emma Millard, Jessica Cardona, Jane Fernandes, Stefan Priebe, Catherine Carr. I know what I like, and I like what I know: Patient preferences and expectations when choosing an arts therapies group. The Arts in psychotherapy. 2021 Sep;75:None

PMID: 34539000

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