Year of Publication

2009

Date of Thesis

11-2009

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Occupational Therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational therapy

Abstract

Evidence shows that maternal stress, pain and change in activity levels have significant effects on birth outcome and infant health. Activity restriction is associated with negative impact on maternal mental health, including increases in stress and anxiety. Activity restriction is also associated with chronic or frequent pain and a decrease in physical activity. There is no current research with women experiencing activity-restricted pregnancies from an occupational focus. The purpose of this study was to explore the occupational experiences of women who are pregnant and prescribed activity restriction. Further, this study aimed to identify areas in which occupational therapy intervention may be appropriate and effective in addressing occupational imbalances and consequently tempering negative maternal health factors. Occupational science was used as the theoretical background for the study. Two basic assumptions of occupational science guided the investigation. The first assumption is that individuals, occupations contribute to a balanced or unbalanced lifestyle. The second assumption was that occupational balance is essential for wellbeing and exists on a spectrum ranging from deprivation to overload. There were four expected outcomes. The participants were expected to have instances of occupational deprivation and of occupational overload. The women were expected to experience more negative emotions during activity restriction. This study was conducted using a phenomenological design' Extensive interviews were conducted with two women. The initial interviews were guided by the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure. Additional interview questions and measures were added to elicit information about the participants' experiences and feelings. Fourteen common themes were identified from the interview transcripts. The themes are explained in detail. The implications for occupational science, occupational therapy and the wider health community are discussed.

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