A phenomenological study of volition in everyday occupations of older people with dementia

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Aim: The aim of this study was to understand volition in people with moderate dementia. The study provided an in-depth description and analysis of volition in eight older people in a memory-support assisted living unit.

Method: Guiding questions focused on understanding past life interests, demonstration of volition, volitional continuity, and the relationship among the social environment, volition and daily occupations. Data collection included participant observation, family and staff interviews, and the Volitional Questionnaire. The Mini-Mental State Examination provided a measure of cognitive impairment.

Findings: Three interacting themes emerged: variation in volitional expression, redefining meaningful occupation and potency of the social environment. The participants differed in volitional expression, showed changes in continuity between past and present interests, and tended to modify their occupations to match their abilities.

Conclusion: The participants' lived experiences consistently reflected dynamism between the social environment and the person in volitional expression.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802210X12892992239116

Publication date: November 1, 2010

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 http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

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

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