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Research Article  |   May 2005
Occupational Goals of Mothers of Children With Disabilities: Influence of Temporal, Social, and Emotional Contexts
Author Affiliations
  • J. Mark Donovan, MOT, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Veteran’s Administration Health Care System, PO Box 10123, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87184; mark.donovan@med.va.gov
  • Betsy J. VanLeit, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Terry K. Crowe, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Director and Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, Department of Pediatrics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Elizabeth B. Keefe, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Special Education Program, College of Education, Department of Educational Specialties, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Article Information
Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / The Occupation of Caring for Children and Adults
Research Article   |   May 2005
Occupational Goals of Mothers of Children With Disabilities: Influence of Temporal, Social, and Emotional Contexts
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2005, Vol. 59, 249-261. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.3.249
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, May/June 2005, Vol. 59, 249-261. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.3.249
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to describe the occupational concerns and goals of mothers who care for children with disabilities.

METHOD. Retrospective data collected from 38 mothers of children with disabilities using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) were analyzed qualitatively.

RESULTS. Six themes emerged: (I) doing and being alone: taking care of my own health and well-being; (II) doing and being with others: expanding my social life; (III) improving my child’s quality of life; (IV) household management: organizing time and resources; (V) balancing work, home, and community responsibilities; and (VI) sharing the workload.

CONCLUSION. Overarching patterns in the data suggested that the occupational performance of mothers of children with disabilities is constrained by time, overlaid by difficult emotions, and involves a desire for increased social contact. Qualitative analysis of data from the COPM may provide insight into contextual factors that affect occupational performance as well as signaling point of entry for therapists to facilitate client-centered occupational goals.