Occupational balance as used in occupational therapy: a concept analysis

Scand J Occup Ther. 2012 Jul;19(4):322-7. doi: 10.3109/11038128.2011.596219. Epub 2011 Jul 25.


Occupational balance is a frequently used concept in occupational therapy, but it is complex and differences in content exist. Further knowledge would be valuable for scholars, practitioners, and measurement development. Concept analysis is a way to clarify concepts. The present concept analysis used Walker and Avant's procedure for analysing the concept of occupational balance, with 43 articles included in the analysis. The results showed that occupational balance can be defined as the individual's perception of having the right amount of occupations and the right variation between occupations. Three perspectives of occupational balance were identified: in relation to occupational areas, in relation to occupations with different characteristics, and in relation to time use. The knowledge gained may guide the use of the concept, and some suggestions are made for its use and for further research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Concept Formation*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Occupations*
  • Personal Satisfaction*