The linkage between patterns of daily occupations and occupational balance: Applications within occupational science and occupational therapy practice

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Patterns of daily occupations (PDO) and occupational balance (OB) are recurring phenomena in the literature. Both are related with health and well-being, which makes them central in occupational therapy practice and occupational science. The aim was to review how PDO and OB are described in the literature, to propose a view of how the two constructs may be linked, and elaborate on how such a view may benefit occupational science and occupational therapy. The literature was analysed by latent and manifest content analysis and comparative analysis. The findings were summarized in a model, framing PDO as the more objective and OB as the more subjective result from an interaction between personal preferences and environmental influences. The proposed model does not assume a cause–effect relationship between the targeted constructs, rather a mutual influence and a joint reaction to influencing factors. Indicators of PDO and OB were identified, as well as tools for assessing PDO and OB. The authors propose that discerning PDO and OB as separate but interacting phenomena may be useful in developing a theoretical discourse in occupational science and enhancing occupational therapy practice. Although the scope of this study was limited, the proposed view may hopefully inspire further scrutiny of constructs.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Environmental Health and Occupational Health


  • Assessment tools, clinical implications, content analysis, literature review, model development, occupational engagement
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-56
Number of pages16
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number1
Early online date2016 Aug 30
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication categoryResearch