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Research Article  |   September 1997
Understanding the Potential of Occupation: A Qualitative Exploration of Seniors’ Perspectives on Activity
Author Affiliations
  • Deborah Laliberte Rudman, MSc, OT(C), is Lecturer, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 256 McCaul Street, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W5, Canada. At the time of this study, she was Student, Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Joanne Valiant Cook, PhD, OT(C), is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Elborn College, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  • Helene Polatajko, PhD, OT(C), is Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Research
Research Article   |   September 1997
Understanding the Potential of Occupation: A Qualitative Exploration of Seniors’ Perspectives on Activity
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1997, Vol. 51, 640-650. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.8.640
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 1997, Vol. 51, 640-650. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.8.640
Abstract

This article presents the results of a qualitative study that explored the characteristics and potential of occupation. Semistructured interviews with 12 seniors who live in the community followed by member-checking groups were used to explore informants’ perspectives on the importance and role of occupation in their lives by asking them about their activities. Themes pertinent to the characterization of activity, the contributions of activity, and a condition allowing for the potential of activity emerged from the inductive analysis. These themes provide information about how occupation naturally functions in the lives of seniors and suggest a tentative conceptualization of the characteristics and potential of occupation. The findings have implications for research regarding occupation and for clinical practice aimed at enabling occupation.