Describing patterns of daily occupations - A methodological study comparing data from four different methods.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The importance of patterns of daily occupations to health has been emphasised ever since occupational
therapy was founded, but little is known about this relationship. The aim of this study was to describe in
detail one woman’s pattern of daily occupations as an initial step in developing strategies for further studies
of patterns of daily occupations. Four different methods were used, one on each of four days. Three types
of occupations were discerned; main occupations, hidden occupations, and unexpected occupations, which
intertwined and formed an occupational pattern. The occupations were, in turn, composed of actions. Using
the diary method gave an overall picture of main occupations during a whole day. Direct observation and
video-recorded observation added additional information about the actions that were the building blocks of
the occupations, as well as about hidden and unexpected occupations. The fourth method, a variant of the
experience sampling method, gave deeper knowledge about the informant’s reflections when performing an
occupation. It was assumed that a detailed description of patterns of occupation is needed to understand its
relationship to health. Therefore, if the diary method is used, it has to be combined with a subsequent
interview. Direct observation was the single method that best captured the complexity of the pattern of daily
occupations as captured in this study.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Occupational Therapy


  • occupational categories, occupational patterns, daily occupation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-39
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Division of Occupational Therapy (Closed 2012) (013025000)