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OP0276-HPR Occupational balance and its relation to performance of valued life activities in persons with rheumatoid arthritis in working age
  1. I. Ahlstrand1,
  2. P. Wagman1,
  3. C. Håkansson2,
  4. M. Björk3
  1. 1School of Health and Welfare, Dep. of Rehabilitation and ADULT, Jönköping University, Jönköping
  2. 2Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund
  3. 3Department of Rheumatology and Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden


Background Experience of balance in everyday activities where work is an essential part is important to health and well-being,1 as has also been observed in previous studies in people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).2 The Valued life activity scale (VLA-swe) is a questionnaire in which patient’s first report if the separate activities are valued or not to perform and secondly difficulties to perform these activities.3 Occupational Balance Questionnaire (OBQ) focuses on satisfaction with the amount and variation of occupations.4

Objectives The objectives were to 1) describe the relationship between performance of valued activities and experienced occupational balance, and to 2) identify aspects associated with low occupational balance in persons with RA.

Methods 368 persons (age 18–65 years, 77% women) with RA responded to a questionnaire measuring occupational balance (OBQ)4 and performance of valued life activities (VLA-swe).3 Other aspects of interest were activity limitations measured by Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), pain (measured by VAS), continuous stress (stressed continuously for more than a month during the last 12 months), children at home, education, and living situation. The relation between OBQ and performance in VLA across genders and Workers/Non-workers were analysed using non-parametric correlation analyses. To identify the impact of different aspects on the likelihood that participants would report lower occupational balance, OBQ was analysed using workers/nonworkers, stress, gender, age, pain and difficulties performing valued activities as independent variables in logistic regressions models. The study was approved by the Regional Ethics Committee (Dnr2011/452–31).

Results The OBQ was significantly related to difficulties to perform valued activities reported by VLA (r=-0.41, p<0.001). Having more difficulties performing valued activities was the strongest predictor of lower occupation balance and increased the risk of reporting lower occupation balance with nearly five times (OR=4.54, p 0.001). Continuous stress increased the risk of having lower occupation balance more than three times (OR=3.27, p<0.0001) than those who not reported being stressed. The other variables show no significant impact on the likelihood that the participants would report lower occupational balance.

Conclusions The results showed support for the relationship between occupation balance and performance of valued life activities and highlights to identify what’s important for the individual and to assume that in the rehabilitation. The results also show the importance of ability to manage stress, in order to enable for retaining ability to work and achieve high occupational balance.

References [1] Stamm T, Lovelock L, Stew G, Nell V, Smolen J, Machold K, et al. I have a disease but I am not ill: A narrative study of occupational balance in people with rheumatoid arthritis. OTJR2009;29(1):32–9.

[2] Ahlstrand I, Björk M, Thyberg I, Börsbo B, Falkmer T. Pain and daily activities in rheumatoid arthritis. Disabil Rehabil2012;34(15):1245–53.

[3] Björk M, Thyberg M, Valtersson E, Katz P. Validation and internal consistency of the Swedish version of the Valued Life Activities scale. Clin Rehabil2015.

[4] Wagman P, Hakansson C. Introducing the Occupational Balance Questionnaire (OBQ). Scand J Occup Ther2014;21(3):227–31.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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