Background: The demographic development, with the older population growing fast, is becoming a huge challenge for society, with great demands on health and social care and concerning the individual’s well-being. The aim of this study was to investigate whether a four-month occupational based health-promoting programme for older persons living in community dwellings could maintain/improve their general health and well- being. Further the aim was to explore whether the programme facilitated the older persons’ occupational adaptation.
Method: The study had a quasi- experimental design combined with semi-structured interviews. The intervention group comprised 22 participants, and the control group 18. Outcomes were measured using the Short Form 36, Life Satisfaction Index-Z and Meaningful Activity Participation Assessment. Content analysis, based on concepts from the Model of Occupational Adaptation, was used to analyse the interviews.
Results: The intervention group showed statistically significant improvements in general health variables such as vitality and mental health, and positive trends for psychological well-being. There were no statistically significant differences between the intervention group and the control group. The qualitative analysis based on Occupational Adaptation pointed out social aspects as a compliment to the overall results.
Conclusion: Participating in meaningful, challenging activities in different environments stimulates the occupational adaptation process.
Application to Practice: Occupational therapists can use this result to empower older persons to find their optimal occupational lives.