Perceived occupational balance and well-being among people with mental illness living in two types of supported housing [2019]

Background: People with psychiatric disabilities often struggle with maintaining a satisfying occupational balance. Knowledge about factors of relevance for occupational balance in this group is therefore vital for improving their support.

Aim: The aim was to describe perceptions of occupational balance among people with psychiatric disabilities living in supported housing (SH) or in own flat/house with housing support (OHS). Potential importance of housing context and socio-demographic, well-being and recovery factors for occupational balance was also explored.

Methods: Participants from SH (N = 155) and OHS (N = 111) responded to questionnaires about sociodemographic situation, well-being (self-rated health, life satisfaction and self-mastery), personal recovery and occupational balance (work, leisure, home chores, self-care and general balance assessed by SDO-OB).

Results: A majority in both groups reported being in balance regarding all five domains of occupational balance. The OHS group reported being more under-occupied for home chores and self-care. Self-mastery was the most important contributor in both groups in the domains of work, domestic chores and self-care. Day center attendance was vital for general occupational balance.

Conclusion: Both groups generally perceived occupational balance. Control over one’s life situation and possibilities for regularly participating in occupations outside the home environment should receive high priority in housing support.

Mona Eklund, David Brunt & Elisabeth Argentzell
Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 27, 2020 – Issue 6