Disability pension and everyday life: a period of transition and subjective aspects of future occupational life

Work. 2011;40(4):375-84. doi: 10.3233/WOR-2011-1249.


Objective: The purpose was to explore and describe the everyday life experiences among people with a disability pension and their expectations for future occupational life.

Participants: A purposeful sample of 14 men and women were interviewed. Of these, ten people received full-time disability pension and four people were on partial disability pension while working part time.

Methods and results: A content analysis approach revealed three themes: strategies for handling a changed life situation, adaptations to remaining functional capacity, and expectations on future occupational life. Initially, leaving the work market entailed a period of emotional discomfort. To help handle this discomfort, structures for participation and performance came to signify a balanced everyday life.

Conclusions: The central conclusion drawn is that the informants with full-time disability pension reconciled themselves to their situation, changing their conception of what life on a disability pension means, while those informants who worked part-time saw their future role as that of worker. Thus, being employed constitutes one factor that promotes a future work career. Another factor related to work capacity is the need for balance between paid work and domestic work reported by disability pensioners working part-time. This area could serve as a point of departure for work rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Emotions
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Change Events*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pensions*