In mental health care practice and research it is increasingly recognized that clients’ subjective perceptions of everyday occupations, such as satisfaction, are important in recovery from mental illness. Instruments thus need to be developed to assess satisfaction with everyday occupations. The aim of the present study was to assess psychometric properties of the 13-item Satisfaction with Daily Occupation (SDO-13) when used with people with mental health problems, including its internal consistency, factor structure, construct validity and whether the scale produced ceiling or floor effects. An additional question concerned if the factor structure varied whether the participants were, or were not, presently engaged in the activity they rated.
The interview-based SDO-13 includes items pertaining to work/studies, leisure, home maintenance, and self-care occupations. Whether the person currently performs an occupation or not, he/she is asked to indicate his/her satisfaction with that occupation. The SDO-13 was completed with 184 persons with mental illness. Residual variables were created to remove the variation linked with currently performing the targeted occupation or not and to assess the factor structure of the SDO-13. The indicators of general satisfaction with daily occupations, self-esteem and global functioning were used to assess construct validity. The statistical methods included tests of homogeneity, confirmatory factor analysis and Pearson correlations.
The internal consistency was satisfactory at 0.79. A three-factor solution indicated that the construct behind the SDO-13 was composed of three facets; Taking care of oneself and the home, Work and studies, and Leisure and relaxation. The same factor structure was valid for both original scores and the residuals. An expected pattern of correlations with the indicators was mainly found, suggesting basic construct validity. No ceiling or floor effects were found.
Taken together, the findings suggest the SDO-13 is a reliable and robust instrument that may be used to get an overview of the satisfaction people living with mental illness derive from their daily occupations.