Title

Discordant accounts: Co-, Collaborative- or Transecting Occupations?

1

Location

Studio 2

Start Time

21-10-2017 2:30 PM

End Time

21-10-2017 3:30 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine how community-dwelling older adults’ participation in social and physical places of everyday life changes over time. This presentation examines the participation patterns of an older (80+) married couple in order to develop a better understanding of how occupations and community navigation patterns of closely-connected people are shared, co-constructed and evolving.

Methods: A married couple (Caucasian, heterosexual) was purposively selected from a longitudinal study (n=34), where the couple served as the unit of analysis. Data were collected at three times over 15 months including semi-structured interviews, activity logs, GPS spatial data, health and well-being measures, and a follow-up joint interview used to member-check emerging concepts. Analysis included summarizing all quantitative data for both individuals, transcribing and coding interviews, deriving summary statistics and characterizations of the GPS data and maps, and tabulating activity log data. Following interviews, the researchers iteratively wrote and read memos and used the ‘story’ of each type of data to interrogate all other types of data relative to the research question. The findings presented here reflect a secondary reflection on the analysis process itself, how the multiple forms of data were useful, and what we learned about this couple’s shared occupations.

Results: There were several notable changes in participation patterns, both individually and collectively, despite stability in residential circumstances. These differences mirrored changes in self-rated health and self-report of function, as well as observed patterns of going and doing in the community. Each member of the couple perceived their joint occupations—the things they did together—as relatively stable. However, their shared occupation had evolved in many ways: shared occupation represented a different ‘portion’ of their participation, their scheduling and planning of activities was renegotiated in light of changing circumstances, and they mutually supported each others’ most-valued occupations.

Implications: The couple’s accounts of daily life and maps created by GPS were inconsistent. Participant-estimations of shared activity were dramatically different than observed overlap, and accounts of daily life were difficult to reconcile with map data. The contributions from differing data types are a benefit of using multiple methods, but pose analytical challenges. Two main implications for the study of occupation include 1) practical insights into challenges and strategies for conducting analyses when the unit of analysis is not an individual, and 2) discussion of the term ‘co-occupation’ and its utility and limitations for explaining transecting participation of multiple individuals.

Key Words :

Participation, Older Adults, Mapping methods

Questions/Objectives for Discussion:

  • Articulate how methodological approaches other than using individuals as the unit of analysis can create analytic challenges
  • Discuss implications of conceptualizing ‘participation’ with less emphasis on ‘performance’ for Occupational Science
  • Discuss ways to extend a transactional perspective in the design and methodology of research

References

Hand, C., Huot, S., Laliberte Rudman, D., & Wijekoon, S. (2017). Qualitative–Geospatial Methods of Exploring Person–Place Transactions in Aging Adults: A Scoping Review. Gerontologist. doi: 10.1093/geront/gnw130

Heatwole Shank, K. (2012). Mixed Methods and Pragmatism for Research on Occupation. In M. P. Cutchin and V.A. Dickie (Eds.), Transactional Perspectives on Occupation (pp. 183-195). Dordrecht: Springer.

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Oct 21st, 2:30 PM Oct 21st, 3:30 PM

Discordant accounts: Co-, Collaborative- or Transecting Occupations?

Studio 2

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine how community-dwelling older adults’ participation in social and physical places of everyday life changes over time. This presentation examines the participation patterns of an older (80+) married couple in order to develop a better understanding of how occupations and community navigation patterns of closely-connected people are shared, co-constructed and evolving.

Methods: A married couple (Caucasian, heterosexual) was purposively selected from a longitudinal study (n=34), where the couple served as the unit of analysis. Data were collected at three times over 15 months including semi-structured interviews, activity logs, GPS spatial data, health and well-being measures, and a follow-up joint interview used to member-check emerging concepts. Analysis included summarizing all quantitative data for both individuals, transcribing and coding interviews, deriving summary statistics and characterizations of the GPS data and maps, and tabulating activity log data. Following interviews, the researchers iteratively wrote and read memos and used the ‘story’ of each type of data to interrogate all other types of data relative to the research question. The findings presented here reflect a secondary reflection on the analysis process itself, how the multiple forms of data were useful, and what we learned about this couple’s shared occupations.

Results: There were several notable changes in participation patterns, both individually and collectively, despite stability in residential circumstances. These differences mirrored changes in self-rated health and self-report of function, as well as observed patterns of going and doing in the community. Each member of the couple perceived their joint occupations—the things they did together—as relatively stable. However, their shared occupation had evolved in many ways: shared occupation represented a different ‘portion’ of their participation, their scheduling and planning of activities was renegotiated in light of changing circumstances, and they mutually supported each others’ most-valued occupations.

Implications: The couple’s accounts of daily life and maps created by GPS were inconsistent. Participant-estimations of shared activity were dramatically different than observed overlap, and accounts of daily life were difficult to reconcile with map data. The contributions from differing data types are a benefit of using multiple methods, but pose analytical challenges. Two main implications for the study of occupation include 1) practical insights into challenges and strategies for conducting analyses when the unit of analysis is not an individual, and 2) discussion of the term ‘co-occupation’ and its utility and limitations for explaining transecting participation of multiple individuals.

Key Words :

Participation, Older Adults, Mapping methods

Questions/Objectives for Discussion:

  • Articulate how methodological approaches other than using individuals as the unit of analysis can create analytic challenges
  • Discuss implications of conceptualizing ‘participation’ with less emphasis on ‘performance’ for Occupational Science
  • Discuss ways to extend a transactional perspective in the design and methodology of research