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The Occupational Wellbeing of People Experiencing Homelessness

Thomas, Yvonne and Gray, M. and McGinty, S. (2017) The Occupational Wellbeing of People Experiencing Homelessness. Journal of Occupational Science, 24 (2). pp. 181-192. ISSN 1442-7591 Online: 2158-1576

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Abstract

This paper reports findings of a study that utilised an occupational perspective to explore how wellbeing was achieved and sustained by the occupations of people experiencing homelessness in Australia. Thirty three in-depth qualitative interviews were conducted with homeless individuals in a regional city in Australia. Data from the interviews were thematically analysed to understand the relationship between wellbeing, as defined by the individual, and the occupations engaged in by people experiencing homelessness. The findings are reported here as three collective narratives that illustrate the experiences of diverse groups within the homelessness population explored in this study. The study demonstrates how occupations go beyond the individual experience and choice; to explore the social and cultural value of occupations as a means to wellbeing. The findings are discussed in relation to three key themes that emerged from the study: survival, self-identity and social connectedness. These three interconnected concepts complement the existing occupational science literature, and offer a preliminary framework for understanding and improving wellbeing for disadvantaged and marginalised people where occupations are restricted by societal forces. The findings support the urgent need to redirect services to support occupational opportunities that are socially and culturally valued and enhance survival, self-identity and connectedness of homeless people.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords: homeless, identity, connectedness, occupational justice, indigenous
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Health and Society
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Yvonne Thomas
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2017 11:33
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2017 12:45
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/5438

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