Aspects of meaning in everyday occupations and its relationships to health-related factors

University dissertation from Division of Occupational Therapy, Box 157, 221 00 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: The general aim of this thesis was to explore aspects of meaning connected with the performance of everyday occupations. Further, the aim was to investigate relationships between occupation, meaning, and health-related variables among adult and elderly subjects with and without chronic pain. Another aim was to develop appropriate methodology and theory for this research area. Due to the explorative aim of the thesis the overall design included a diversity of methodologies for data collection and analysis. The six studies, concerned: (i) exploration of play and flow experiences in an occupational therapy intervention group of five chronic pain participants performing creative craft occupations; (ii) relationships between occupational engagement and survival among elderly subjects, which had been followed during 25 years, from age 67 and forth; (iii) development of methodology for exploring experiences of everyday occupations and relationship to sense of coherence; (iiii) investigation of relationships between experiences of everyday occupation and different health-variables in subjects with and without chronic pain; (v) exploring experiences of meaning in everyday activities among 12 participants with chronic pain, using in-depth narrative interviews; and finally (vi) development of a conceptual model for analysing values and meaning of occupations, both in a life course perspective and in ongoing single occupations. In summary, this thesis contributes support to core occupational therapy assumptions concerning relationships between meaning and occupation and between psychological and self-rated health and general positive experience of occupation. New methodology and a conceptual model to be further explored in occupational therapy research were also suggested.

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