Patients find therapy in knitting and craft group

29/Jul/2019     Health

A group of creative knitters, crocherers and crafters are not only improving their mental and physical health when they meet each week; they are creating items that benefit fellow Mater patients.

These patients from Mater Hospital Brisbane make up the Therapeutic Activity for Persistent Pain (TAPP) group who are recovering from a range of pain conditions, including arthritis, nerve and back pain and fibromyalgia.

The TAPP group create a range of knitted items for inpatients at Mater, including delirium cuffs and ‘fidget’ blankets for dementia patients.

Delirium cuffs are knitted sleeves with buttons and zips attached, providing patients a sensory experience and preventing them from touching their cannulas.

Mater Occupational Therapist Mary Matthews said the program, in its second year, was established after positive research showed the benefits of knitting, not just physically but also emotionally.

“There is research from the United Kingdom that shows the personal and social wellbeing that knitting and other craft activities bring to adults.

“For those who knit or crochet, the consistent movement and rhythm of the activity improves their pain and I’m seeing my patients directly benefit from attending the class each week.

“The group also encourages positive social engagement where participants can come together a talk with each other in a non-judgemental environment,” she said.

For 81 year old Conchita, her visits to Mater to attend TAPP is something she looks forward to all week.

“When I come here my physical ailments and frailties are forgotten.  Crocheting has helped me to manage my muscle cramping, insomnia and general physical discomfort.

“Participating in this group is a very positive experience.  It makes me happy, peaceful and gives me an overall sense of wellbeing,” she said.   

Not the crocheting type, Sheree opts to create beautiful artwork that she hopes brings joy to others.

“I suffer from fibromyalgia as well as anxiety and depression. Doing craft like diamond painting provides a good distraction and is self-soothing.

“The group has also improved my self-esteem and I’m very appreciative of the ladies in the group,” she said.

The knitted and craft items that the group makes are donated to patients across Mater hospitals.

To donate materials to the group so they can continue their great work, please email

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