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Meaningfulness in work – Experiences among individuals with persistent mental illness
Leufstadius, Christel, Eklund, Mona, Erlandsson, Lena-Karin
Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
The aim of the present study was to investigate how people with persistent mental illness, with various types of work and employment conditions, experience and describe the meaningfulness of work. The study had a qualitative approach and twelve informants living in the community were purposefully selected and interviewed according to overarching themes. The interviews were analysed using qualitative content analysis, and all of the authors were involved in the analysis process. The findings resulted in four main themes: 1) work per se has certain characteristics, 2) participation in different contexts gives a feeling of normality, acceptance, belonging and fulfilment of norms and values, 3) work affords structure, energy and a balanced daily life, and 4) work increases well-being and strengthens one's identity. A tentative model is described concerning perceived meaningfulness in work among individuals with persistent mental illness, in which the first three aspects of meaning are a prerequisite for meaning in terms of increased well-being and strengthened identity. Furthermore, it seems important that work has to bring the just right challenge to the individual in order for him or her to perceive the identified aspects of meaningfulness. © 2009 IOS Press. All rights reserved.
Nyckelord: Employment; occupational therapy; psychiatric disability