Satisfaction with Daily Occupations: Construct validity and test–retest reliability of a screening tool for people with mental health disorders

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In occupational therapy research and in clinical practice there is a need for valid, reliable and easily administered measures. For research and screening purposes, the Satisfaction with Daily Occupations (SDO) instrument was developed. It addresses work, leisure, domestic tasks and self-care and generates a satisfaction and an activity level score. This study investigated its construct validity, internal consistency and test–retest reliability in 55 clients visiting occupational therapists in outpatient mental health care.


The SDO was administered on two occasions with a 1-week interval, and data on the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM), psychosocial functioning and self-rated health were collected on the first of these occasions.


In contrast to what was expected, the relationships between the SDO scores and the COPM scores were low. The strongest relationship between the SDO satisfaction score and any other variable was to psychosocial functioning. These variables shared 23% of the variance. Internal consistency for the satisfaction score was acceptable, alpha = 0.75 on the second occasion, and the test–retest reliability was good; rs = 0.84 for the satisfaction score and rs = 0.92 for the activity level.


The results indicated that the SDO has satisfactory reliability. The instrument targets a specific construct, as compared to the COPM and the measurements of self-rated health and psychosocial functioning. Thus, the SDO and the COPM satisfaction scale seem to assess different phenomena, probably because the SDO has predefined items, not specifically targeting a certain client's problematic occupations, whereas the COPM is based on self-defined problems. The instruments may therefore supplement each other.

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