Defining occupation: A comparative analysis

Ching yi Wu, Keh chung Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

9 Scopus citations


The concept of occupation has long defied satisfactory definition by occupational therapists or occupational scientists. Recently, both Kielhofer and Nelson have attempted to define the term “occupation” in a manner that would reduce the ambiguity associated with uses of the term. This article compares and contrasts their conceptualizations of occupation, describing how the term occupation and related concepts have been defined and operationalized. The differences and similarities identified provide a basis for recommendations for the further development and validation of a definition of occupation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 04 1999


  • Construct and theory Research
  • Occupation Construct and theory
  • Research


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