Barriers to continuity in the pathway toward occupational engagement among ethnic minorities with mental illness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Ethnic minorities have particular needs and difficulties in terms of support for meaningful occupations, lack of access to and use of occupation-based rehabilitation services. They are not established in the labour market and are seldom in paid employment. This study aimed to investigate how mentally ill ethnic minority clients experience, feel and think about participation in occupation-based rehabilitation, and potential barriers they might encounter. Nine participants experiencing mental illness and receiving occupation-based rehabilitation were interviewed. Grounded theory methods were used in order to collect and analyze data. One core category, “barriers for a continuous path towards enriched and meaningful occupation” described the participants’ experiences of a variety of barriers related to personal, occupational and system factors that hindered participation in occupation-based rehabilitation and influenced their need for occupational development and growth. The core category was composed of; personal-related barriers, occupational-related barriers, and system-related barriers as well as six related sub-categories. These barriers interacted continually across time and space in ways that increased the participants’ sense of occupational deprivation and alienation. The findings also suggested that the issues of paid employment for ethnic minorities with mental illness should feature on the agenda of local, regional and state politicians and professionals involved in occupational rehabilitation.


External organisations
  • Metropolitan University College, Denmark
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Employment, occupation-based rehabilitation, occupational injustice, work hindrance
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-268
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch