Importance: In this scoping review, we explore the meaning of occupation for people with advanced cancer to develop and improve occupation-based services in oncology.
Objective: To identify the meaning(s) of occupation for adults with advanced cancer through relevant peer-reviewed literature.
Data Sources: Scopus, CINAHL, Medline, and PubMed were used to identify peer-reviewed articles published between 2011 and 2021.
Study Selection and Data Collection: Inclusion criteria comprised research studies in English and on meaningful occupations as well as participants age 19 yr or older and diagnosed with advanced cancer. Exclusion criteria comprised non-English publications, studies with participants in an early stage of cancer, and gray literature or nonreviewed articles.
Findings: Thirteen articles matched the inclusion criteria: 9 qualitative studies, 1 mixed-methods study, 1 case study, 1 pilot study (pretest–posttest design), and 1 retrospective study (review of clinical data). Four themes emerged from the thematic analysis: occupation benefits important relationships and connections with others, occupation as a source of physical or psychological comfort, managing one’s identity through occupation, and occupation as a religious expression.
Conclusions and Relevance: This scoping review highlights the value of participating in an occupation for people with advanced cancer. It also shows the importance of meaningful occupations to the quality of life and well-being of adults with advanced cancer.
What This Article Adds: This scoping review identifies meanings of occupation linked to the health and well-being of adults with advanced cancer to develop and improve occupation-based services in oncology.