Very old people's experience of occupational performance outside the home: possibilities and limitations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


To support occupations outside the home for older people with functional limitations it is important to understand how the person, environment, and occupations influence performance. Therefore the purpose of this study was to describe how very old people experience occupational performance outside the home. Twenty-one single-living, very old persons, above 80 years, were strategically selected and interviewed. A phenomenographic approach was used for this study and the interviews were analyzed using contextual analysis. The findings showed a variation in the experience of occupational performance described in three referential aspects: keeping on doing as before, drawing on available resources, and living in constrained circumstances. Referring to everyday occupations the participants described how they continued to do what they had done before, but decline in functional capacity made it more difficult to overcome environmental barriers. They also described how they sometimes could put functional limitations aside and use their utmost capacity to reach their goals. When they could not do that any more, they had to find possibilities for occupations close to home. In order to support very old people's occupational performance outside the home, outdoor mobility has to be facilitated, including the design of the physical environment as well as possibilities for social interaction.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Occupational Therapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-85
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
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), Department of Health Sciences (013220000)

Related research output

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