Brain injury beliefs, self-awareness, and coping: a preliminary cluster analytic study based within the self-regulatory model.

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The interplay between individuals' subjective beliefs about traumatic brain injury, their coping style and their self-awareness might provide a more helpful guide to rehabilitation goals than looking at these factors in isolation. We therefore conducted a preliminary study to determine whether the Self-Regulatory Model can identify different clusters of individuals according to belief schemata, and to explore whether clusters differed across measures of coping and self-awareness. The Illness Perception Questionnaire-Revised was administered to 37 participants with severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), along with the Ways of Coping Checklist-Revised and the European Brain Injury Questionnaire. Clinicians also rated clients' level of difficulties using the latter scale, and the discrepancy between client and clinician scores was used as a measure of self-awareness. Hierarchical cluster analysis distinguished three groups based on profiles of subjective beliefs about TBI, labelled "low control/ambivalent", "high salience", and "high optimism". The high salience group was characterised by beliefs about serious consequences of the injury and greater self-awareness, and reported a greater range of coping strategies. The other two groups showed lower levels of awareness but differed in coping styles, with the low control/ambivalent group showing a trend towards more avoidance coping against a background of lower perceived control.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)899-921
Number of pages23
JournalNeuropsychological Rehabilitation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2010