Background: A qualitative systematic review was undertaken to identify the therapeutic impact of arts-based activities as experienced by adults sexually abused in childhood. Methods: Sixteen studies, identified through a systematic search protocol, were included in a thematic synthesis. Quality of studies was assessed using the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme tool. Findings: Arts-based activities were identified as offering a safe space, in which to find a voice, to engage in self-exploration, and to communicate experience and connect with others where a new sense of self and empowerment could emerge. Conclusion: Creative activities can play a significant role in the unique paths to recovery that sexual abuse survivors develop. Limitations to the review derive from the small number of papers, methodological weaknesses of the studies and the variation in focus. More research is needed into impact of specific media, and barriers and enablers to using creative activities as a resource.
Rouse, A., Jenkinson, E., & Warner, C. (2023). The use of “art” as a resource in recovery from the impact of sexual abuse in childhood: A qualitative systematic review. Arts and Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy and Practice, 15(1), 86-109. https://doi.org/10.1080/17533015.2022.2034900