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Improving Self Advocacy Skills for Individuals with Traumatic Brain Injury and Significant Others: a Pilot Study

PI(s): Lenore Hawley, LCSW, Don Gerber, Psy.D.,

Funded by: Craig Hospital Foundation

Dates: June 1, 2013 – May 31, 2014

Contact: Clare Morey cmorey@craighospital.org or call 303-789-8621

The complex effects of TBI can create significant barriers to community reintegration, requiring the individual and family to advocate for services and acceptance as the individual attempts to re-enter social, vocational, and community roles. Individuals are in need of services they did not require prior to the injury and approximately 40% of those receiving inpatient TBI rehabilitation report at least one unmet need for services a year after the injury. Self advocacy has been defined as having the beliefs, knowledge and behaviors necessary to address one’s own needs and involves taking care of oneself, gathering information and resources, being organized and prepared, and assertively communicating and negotiating to get one’s needs met. The Self Advocacy for Independent Life (SAIL) program was developed to empower individuals and families post-TBI as self advocates. The SAIL program consists of a multi-session workshop and workbook. This pilot study will investigate the feasibility of this program for improving self advocacy beliefs, knowledge and behaviors, as well as exploring novel measurement tools to assess such improvement.