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Porträtt Lisa Eklund. Foto: Emma Lord.

Lisa Eklund

Docent | Universitetslektor

Porträtt Lisa Eklund. Foto: Emma Lord.

A cross-sectional study addressing the importance of work and other everyday activities for well-being among people with mental illness : does additional vulnerability matter?


  • Lisa Eklund
  • A. Birgitta Gunnarsson
  • Jan Åke Jansson
  • Parvin Pooremamali
  • Mona Eklund

Summary, in English

Background: Work and other everyday activities are beneficial for well-being among people with mental illness, but poor circumstances can create detrimental effects, possibly aggravated by additional vulnerabilities linked with their mental illness. This study aimed to investigate how activity factors were related to well-being and functioning among three vulnerable groups using outpatient mental health care – young people with psychosis, people with a history of substance use disorder (SUD), and immigrants with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – while controlling for vulnerability group, age and gender. Methods: Participants represented the three types of vulnerability (n = 46/57/39). Data collection, using self-report and interviewer-rated questionnaires, concerned aspects of everyday activity (work experiences; views of the worker role; satisfaction with everyday occupations; activity level), well-being (quality of life: life and health; quality of life: environmental aspects; recovery) and functioning (psychosocial functioning; symptom severity). Spearman correlations and General Linear Modelling were used. Results: Activity satisfaction was positive (p < 0.001) but recent work experience negative (p = 0.015) for the life and health aspect of quality of life. Activity satisfaction was positive for the environmental aspects of quality of life (p < 0.001). Resources for having a worker role (p < 0.001) and belief in having a future worker role (p = 0.007) were positively associated with better recovery. Activity level (p = 0.001) and resources for having a worker role (p = 0.004) showed positive associations with psychosocial functioning. Belief in a future worker role (p = 0.011) was related with symptom level. Women had less severe symptoms in the young group with psychosis. Regarding vulnerability group, young people with psychosis perceived better quality of life; those with a history of SUD had less severe psychiatric symptoms; and the recent immigrants with PTSD had the highest level of psychosocial functioning. Conclusion: Work experience may not be conducive to well-being in itself; it is satisfaction with work and other activities that matters, and worker and employer expectations need alignment. No vulnerability group seemed consistently more disadvantaged regarding well-being and functioning, but the fact that differences existed is vital to acknowledge in activity-based rehabilitation. Inquiring about meaningful activities and providing opportunities for executing them would be a fruitful way of support.


  • Sociologiska institutionen
  • Sociologi
  • Institutionen för psykologi
  • Psykisk hälsa, aktivitet och delaktighet






BMC Psychiatry






Artikel i tidskrift


BioMed Central (BMC)


  • Occupational Therapy


  • Activity
  • Mental illness
  • Participation
  • Quality of life
  • Recovery
  • Vulnerability
  • Well-being
  • Work




  • Mental Health, Activity and Participation


  • ISSN: 1471-244X