An Exploratory Study of People's Perceptions and Experiences of Wellbeing

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This paper describes an exploratory study aimed at understanding people's perceptions and experiences of wellbeing. As health and wellbeing are considered by world and national health authorities to be closely related, occupational therapists along with other health workers need to know more about wellbeing, particularly from the perspective of 'the people'.

Using a questionnaire, seven cluster samples of 20 people, giving a total of 140 participants, were asked to define their concept of wellbeing, how it felt to them and how often they experienced the feeling. Data were also collected about nationality, marital status, employment, income, religion and levels of education because these have been identified as affecting wellbeing. In this study, wellbeing was described as happiness, peace, mind and body health and self-esteem, and was strongly associated with occupations as varied as work, relaxation and dressing up; relationships; and environments. No particular associations were found with any of the demographic data.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1998

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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