Free
Poster Session
Issue Date: July 2015
Published Online: July 01, 2015
Updated: April 30, 2020
Does Life Balance of Adults and Seniors With and Without Physical Disabilities Differ?
Author Affiliations
  • Université de Sherbrooke
  • Université de Sherbrooke
Article Information
Geriatrics/Productive Aging / Health and Wellness / Rehabilitation, Participation, and Disability / Basic Research
Poster Session   |   July 01, 2015
Does Life Balance of Adults and Seniors With and Without Physical Disabilities Differ?
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505029. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO2102
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July 2015, Vol. 69, 6911505029. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.69S1-PO2102
Abstract

Date Presented 4/16/2015

Life balance is an important occupational challenge faced by many individuals. The aims of this study were to compare subjective life balance of adults and seniors with and without physical disabilities as well as to examine relationships among life balance, health, stress, and quality of life.

SIGNIFICANCE: In 2012, the Canadian Mental Health Association reported that 58% of Canadians declared an overload related to their numerous roles and preoccupations, which affects their life balance. This is an important challenge for occupational therapists in clinical practice and in public health. In this study, we aimed to better understand whether greater imbalance is perceived in different population groups and, ultimately, to target types of activities that could fulfill unmet needs that affect life balance.
INNOVATION: In this study, we applied Matuska’s (2012b) model of life balance and the Life Balance Inventory (Matuska, 2012a) in a French–Canadian context. Studies on life balance have mainly been conducted with adults and have not compared perceptions of individuals with and without physical disabilities.
METHOD: Questions examined were as follows: (1) Does subjective life balance of adults and seniors with and without physical disabilities differ? (2) What influences subjective life balance in adults and seniors with and without physical disabilities?
A descriptive correlational design was used, with a convenient sample of 152 participants, divided into four groups according to age and presence or not of physical disabilities (score of 15 and above on the Functional Autonomy Measurement System). Participants with physical disabilities were recruited in a local community service center and community organizations in one city in Quebec (Canada). Healthy participants were recruited through ads in public places and newspapers. The following questionnaires were administered: Life Balance Inventory, Short Form—36 (SF–36; health), Depression Anxiety Stress Scales—21 (DASS–21; stress), and Quality of Life Index. To compare life balance of adults and seniors with and without physical disabilities, we used analyses of variance (ANOVAs). To examine relationships among life balance, health, stress, and quality of life, we conducted linear regression analyses.
RESULTS: Preliminary results (n = 133) show that adults and seniors with physical disabilities spend significantly less time than desired on activities that allow them to have rewarding relationships, feel engaged and challenged, and create meaning and a positive identity (p < .01). Healthy adults spend significantly less time than desired on activities that meet health needs (p < .05). In healthy seniors, mental health influences most perceived life balance (R2 = 13.0%, p = .02). In seniors with physical disabilities, quality of life influences most perceived life balance (R2 = 24.5%, p = .001). In healthy adults, stress influences most perceived life balance (R2 = 10.7%, p = .03).
CONCLUSION: Although the sample size of this study was modest with recruitment in one city, the findings support that subjective life balance is an important occupational therapy outcome for adults and seniors with physical disabilities. For all groups, subjective life balance, as conceptualized by Matuska (2012a, 2012b), brings valuable information in health promotion.
References
Canadian Mental Health Association. (2012). Work/life balance. Retrieved from http://www.cmha.ca/mental-health/your-mental-health/worklife-balance/
Matuska, K. (2012a). Description and development of the Life Balance Inventory. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32, 220–228. http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20110610-01
Matuska, K. (2012b). Validity evidence of a model and measure of life balance. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32, 229–237. http://dx.doi.org/10.3928/15394492-20110610-02