A Scoping Review Protocol to Map Empirical Evidence that Illuminates the Dark Side of Occupations Among Adults

  • Rebecca Twinley University of Brighton
  • Leonie Boland University of Plymouth
  • Lisa Bunn School of Health Professions, University of Plymouth
  • Gayle Letherby School of Health Professions, University of Plymouth
Keywords: adults, occupation, dark side of occupation, occupational science, health-compromising, damaging, deviant


The objective of this review is to explore existing literature to identify, map, and synthesise past accounts of occupations that could be considered as constituting the dark side of occupation and which could, consequently, be identified and discussed as such. Presenting findings through use of a synthesis matrix, and formulating a descriptive account of the types of occupations (including their form, function, meaning, and contribution to identity and becoming) that constitute the dark side of occupation, is anticipated to assist with prioritising future collaborative research endeavours, as part of an intended programme of research.

Specifically, the review questions are:

  1. What past accounts of occupations have been discussed or explored in the literature that would constitute falling under the conceptual ‘umbrella’ of the dark side of occupation?
  2. What specific occupations that challenge the pervasive belief in the link between health and occupation have been discussed for the adult population, across all cultures?
  3. Where do gaps of knowledge remain regarding the less explored occupations people subjectively experience, and which indicate the priority research areas that need to be explored from an occupational perspective?
Study Protocols