Because an acquired brain injury (ABI) can cause physical, emotional, and
cognitive deficits, individuals with ABI may need to seek multiple medical
and psychological services during the recovery period. Personal self-advocacy
– for example, asserting one’s needs, making necessary appointments,
and communicating issues – is important to successfully navigate
through these services. However, self-advocacy can be a challenge for
those who have survived an ABI.
To address the significance of self-advocacy in the post-ABI period, a
recent study proposed two new advocacy-related measures for ABI patients.
The first measure was the Self-Advocacy Scale (SAS), which gauged individuals’
self-efficacy (the belief that one is capable of achieving one’s
goals) and their general ability to gather information about and seek
out appropriate medical resources. The second assessment was the Personal
Advocacy Activity Scale (PAAS), which measured the number and quality
of individuals’ self-advocacy activities during the last three months.
After administering both tests, researchers found that ABI individuals
who believe in their self-efficacy are more likely to successfully advocate
for themselves through recovery.
These measures provide clinicians with important information about their
patients’ ability to obtain care services during the ABI recovery
process, allowing them to appropriately educate patients about self-advocacy
and ensure better long-term health outcomes.
Source: Hawley L, Pretz C, Morey C, Whiteneck G. Initial validation of
personal self-advocacy measures of individuals with acquired brain injury.
Rehabilitation Psychology. (May 2016).
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