Title

Pain and the Meaning and Temporality of Occupation

Presenter Information

Salvador Bondoc
Lauren Bonacci

Start Time

26-10-2007 10:45 AM

End Time

26-10-2007 11:45 AM

Abstract

In healthcare, pain is conceived as a major barrier to function. In occupational therapy, it is assumed that management of pain could lead to improvements in participation and occupational performance. Despite this widely-held assumption, the relationship between pain and occupation especially in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis is not well-established in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the link between pain and occupation. More specifically, this paper explores how pain as experienced by individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) co-effect occupational performance, the meaning ascribed to the occupations and how occupations are organized over time. Through experience sampling (ESM) and mailed-in questionnaires, the authors followed two active older females with RA and documented their participation in daily occupations at random times of the day over 1 full week. Participants were also asked to report which occupations they find most meaningful, and the meaning ascribed to them during engagement, pain experiences, and adaptations made to the physical and temporo-spatial context/s of the occupations. Descriptive and narrative analysis of data from the ESM and interviews, suggest that pain and occupations do interrelate and are co-effectual. From the results, three themes emerged all pertaining to the co-effectual relationship between pain and occupations: 1) reduction in pain may have allowed the person to engage, with greater efficacy, in occupations that held the most meaning; 2) pain despite its unpredictability and varying intensity does not always inhibit engagement in the most meaningful occupations but rather facilitates the individual to adapt the contexts of occupations including its temporality; and 3) actual engagement in the most valued occupations could lead to a reduction or suppression of pain and subsequent improvement in the quality of occupational experience (e.g., my pain suddenly disappears when I do).We conclude that the study illustrates and further reinforces the Profession’s belief that despite pain (and disability), humans find ways to engage in occupations because of their meaning and intrinsic benefits. The study also lends support in the belief that engagement in occupations is not only an end but a powerful means to overcome barriers to performance including pain.

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Oct 26th, 10:45 AM Oct 26th, 11:45 AM

Pain and the Meaning and Temporality of Occupation

In healthcare, pain is conceived as a major barrier to function. In occupational therapy, it is assumed that management of pain could lead to improvements in participation and occupational performance. Despite this widely-held assumption, the relationship between pain and occupation especially in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis is not well-established in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to elucidate the link between pain and occupation. More specifically, this paper explores how pain as experienced by individuals with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) co-effect occupational performance, the meaning ascribed to the occupations and how occupations are organized over time. Through experience sampling (ESM) and mailed-in questionnaires, the authors followed two active older females with RA and documented their participation in daily occupations at random times of the day over 1 full week. Participants were also asked to report which occupations they find most meaningful, and the meaning ascribed to them during engagement, pain experiences, and adaptations made to the physical and temporo-spatial context/s of the occupations. Descriptive and narrative analysis of data from the ESM and interviews, suggest that pain and occupations do interrelate and are co-effectual. From the results, three themes emerged all pertaining to the co-effectual relationship between pain and occupations: 1) reduction in pain may have allowed the person to engage, with greater efficacy, in occupations that held the most meaning; 2) pain despite its unpredictability and varying intensity does not always inhibit engagement in the most meaningful occupations but rather facilitates the individual to adapt the contexts of occupations including its temporality; and 3) actual engagement in the most valued occupations could lead to a reduction or suppression of pain and subsequent improvement in the quality of occupational experience (e.g., my pain suddenly disappears when I do).We conclude that the study illustrates and further reinforces the Profession’s belief that despite pain (and disability), humans find ways to engage in occupations because of their meaning and intrinsic benefits. The study also lends support in the belief that engagement in occupations is not only an end but a powerful means to overcome barriers to performance including pain.