Content » Vol 41, Issue 3

Original report

Relationship between occupational gaps in everyday life, depressive mood and life satisfaction after acquired brain injury

Gunilla Eriksson, Anders Kottorp, Jörgen Borg, Kerstin Tham
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-0307


Objective: To explore the relationship between occupational gaps, depressive mood and life satisfaction in persons who have acquired a brain injury during the past 1–4 years and to test the Occupational Gaps Questionnaire. Design: A cross-sectional study. Subjects: A total of 116 persons with traumatic brain injury or subarachnoid haemorrhage acquired 1–4 years previously. Methods: A postal survey with questions on occupational gaps, focusing on the domains instrumental activities of daily living, social life, leisure and work (Occupational Gaps Questionnaire), life satisfaction (LiSat-11 checklist) and depressive mood (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale). Rasch analyses and principal component analyses were performed to ensure that data from the LiSat-11 and Occupational Gaps Questionnaire could be used subsequently as valid unidimensional measures in regression and correlational analyses. Results: Calibration of the Occupational Gaps Questionnaire and the LiSat-11 revealed that the items and persons demonstrated acceptable goodness-of-fit to the Rasch models respectively, supporting internal scale validity and person-response validity. In addition, principal component analyses revealed that the measures could be used as valid uni-dimensional estimations of occupational gaps and life satisfaction. There was a strong relationship between the extent of occupational gaps and perceived life satisfaction, a weaker relationship with depressive mood and a non-¬significant relationship with the aetiological diagnoses and life satisfaction. The factors explained 32% (occupational gaps), 6% (depressive mood), and 2% (diagnosis), respectively, of the total explained variance (40%). Conclusion: There was a strong correlation between participation in desired everyday occupations and life satisfaction 1–4 years after an acquired brain injury. This indicates that individually perceived occupational gaps, as recorded by the Occupational Gaps Questionnaire, could be relevant targets for tailored interventions in order to improve life satisfaction among clients with acquired brain injuries.

Lay Abstract


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