Title

The Influence of Perceived Occupational Possibilities on Meaningful Activity Participation for Older Adults with Cancer

Location

Room B

Start Time

18-10-2013 2:05 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 2:35 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Occupational science and occupational therapy scholars report significant relationships between participation in occupation and quality of life and consider participation in meaningful activity the “central focus” of occupational therapy (Law, 2002, p.640; Vessby & Kiellberg, 2010). For older adults with cancer, the relationships between participation in meaningful activity and specific risk factors (age, race, sex, etc.) are unknown. Equally important is what shapes and predicts their patterns of participation in activity. Typically, participation has been measured by performance in ADL and IADL, as well as physical ability. Measurement of performance ability is just one aspect of the multifaceted relationship between participation in activity and quality of life. Adults’ perceptions about what should and could be activities for participation—what have been called ‘occupational possibilities’—may also restrict participation in occupation and decrease quality of life.

Occupational possibilities are situated within a cultural–historical context and are defined as the taken for granted activities people believe they can and should do (Laliberte Rudman, 2010). This construct indicates that larger social forces shape individuals’ perspectives and also acknowledges the importance of personal meaning and ability as vital to participation in occupation. However, little is known about how meaningful activity participation is associated with perceived occupational possibilities. This paper will present an examination of the relationships between participation in meaningful activity and perceived occupational possibilities within a sample of older adults with cancer. Seventy-one adults over the age of 65 years with a diagnosis of cancer were evaluated with a brief geriatric assessment, the Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment (MAPA) (Eakman, Carlson, & Clark, 2010) and the Perceived Occupational Possibilities Scale (POPS) (Pergolotti, 2013). A regression approach was used to assess the association of correlates with meaningful activity participation. POPS scores (B = .56, p < .001) and level of education (B = .17, p < .10) predicted participation in activities rated as personally meaningful, and the POPS (B = .57, p < .001) alone-predicted participation in activities rated highly meaningful. These findings extend our understanding of quality of life for those with a cancer diagnosis and suggest that social norms and related beliefs about participation shape how older adults with cancer involve themselves in life activities. This advocates for a reconceptualization of rehabilitation. This study also adds to the understanding and measurement of participation in activity for older people with cancer. Finally, this study furthers our understanding of occupational possibilities as an occupational science construct and as it relates to participation and rehabilitation.

References

Eakman, A., Carlson, M. E., & Clark, F. (2010). The Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment: A measure of engagement in personally valued activities. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 70(4), 299–317.

Laliberte Rudman, D. (2010). Occupational possibilities. Journal of Occupational Science, 17(1), 55–59.

Law, M. (2002). Participation in the occupations of everyday life. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 56, 640–649.

Pergolotti, M. (2013).Older Adults with Cancer: Participation in Activity and the Utilization of Occupational Therapy (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Vessby, K., & Kjellberg, A. (2010). Participation in occupational therapy research: A literature review. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73, 319–326.

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Oct 18th, 2:05 PM Oct 18th, 2:35 PM

The Influence of Perceived Occupational Possibilities on Meaningful Activity Participation for Older Adults with Cancer

Room B

Occupational science and occupational therapy scholars report significant relationships between participation in occupation and quality of life and consider participation in meaningful activity the “central focus” of occupational therapy (Law, 2002, p.640; Vessby & Kiellberg, 2010). For older adults with cancer, the relationships between participation in meaningful activity and specific risk factors (age, race, sex, etc.) are unknown. Equally important is what shapes and predicts their patterns of participation in activity. Typically, participation has been measured by performance in ADL and IADL, as well as physical ability. Measurement of performance ability is just one aspect of the multifaceted relationship between participation in activity and quality of life. Adults’ perceptions about what should and could be activities for participation—what have been called ‘occupational possibilities’—may also restrict participation in occupation and decrease quality of life.

Occupational possibilities are situated within a cultural–historical context and are defined as the taken for granted activities people believe they can and should do (Laliberte Rudman, 2010). This construct indicates that larger social forces shape individuals’ perspectives and also acknowledges the importance of personal meaning and ability as vital to participation in occupation. However, little is known about how meaningful activity participation is associated with perceived occupational possibilities. This paper will present an examination of the relationships between participation in meaningful activity and perceived occupational possibilities within a sample of older adults with cancer. Seventy-one adults over the age of 65 years with a diagnosis of cancer were evaluated with a brief geriatric assessment, the Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment (MAPA) (Eakman, Carlson, & Clark, 2010) and the Perceived Occupational Possibilities Scale (POPS) (Pergolotti, 2013). A regression approach was used to assess the association of correlates with meaningful activity participation. POPS scores (B = .56, p < .001) and level of education (B = .17, p < .10) predicted participation in activities rated as personally meaningful, and the POPS (B = .57, p < .001) alone-predicted participation in activities rated highly meaningful. These findings extend our understanding of quality of life for those with a cancer diagnosis and suggest that social norms and related beliefs about participation shape how older adults with cancer involve themselves in life activities. This advocates for a reconceptualization of rehabilitation. This study also adds to the understanding and measurement of participation in activity for older people with cancer. Finally, this study furthers our understanding of occupational possibilities as an occupational science construct and as it relates to participation and rehabilitation.