Experiences of Everyday Occupation among People with Psychiatric Disabilities - Relationships to social interaction, the worker role and day centre attendance
Abstract: The thesis aims to explore subjective experiences of everyday occupation, social interaction and the view of the worker role among people with psychiatric disabilities(PD), while also addressing the importance of day centre attendance. The thesis consists of one qualitative study, exploring which characteristics in everyday occupation provide meaning to people with PD, and three quantitative studies based on questionnaires to both day centre attendees and non-attendees. Study I showed that feeling competent and having a balance between different meaningful occupations helped having control over mental illness. Being social, creating routines and being productive and creative were important to the experience of meaning, as was taking care of body and mind. Study II showed that having less depression and a high activity level were strong predictors of having highly valued everyday occupations. Having a high level of self-mastery seemed to predict both better occupational value and satisfaction with daily occupation. Better satisfaction with daily occupation was further related with being older and having less general psychopathology. The result from Study III showed that the person who was the most supportive and closest to the participants was a family member, but many of them reported to be without such a close and supportive person. Cohabitating and having a high level of positive subjective experiences of occupation were predictors of the quantity of social interaction. Having a high level of self-mastery, a low level of depression and fewer positive symptoms as well as being more satisfied with daily occupation were important for qualitative aspects of social interaction. Study IV showed that having a high activity level, a high level of self-mastery, being younger and having less severe depressive symptoms were indicators of a more positive view of the worker role. The importance of day centre attendance was also explored. The day centre group experienced a higher level of occupational value, was more active and met more people than the non-attendees.When examining aspects of the worker role significant differences were found on the item level, indicating a stronger worker role among participants attending day centres with a work focus. The results of this thesis add new knowledge regarding the everyday life among the target group and may be used in developing community-based mental health care services.
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