Traumatic brain injury resiliency model: a conceptual model to guide rehabilitation research and practice
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There is a growing trend in traumatic brain injury (TBI) rehabilitation, and research, to focus on the processes of adaptation following the injury. Resiliency is an umbrella term describing the range of personal protective factors, environmental supports and resources, as well as self-regulatory processes, engaged in response to adversity. An affective, cognitive, and behavioural self-regulatory process model of resiliency in the workplace was adapted to suit the TBI context. Through a narrative review of the literature pertaining to brain injury rehabilitation, participation, and resilience, we substantiated the model, and explained how resiliency can frame research on life experiences following the injury. TBI represents a cascading adversity as the injury and subsequent life experiences (e.g., job loss) shape adaptation. Resiliency is shaped by: personal characteristics (e.g., hope, social functioning, self-awareness, memory, spirituality, coping, and self-efficacy), environmental resources/supports (e.g., services and social support), and self-regulatory processes that lead to the resiliency-related outcomes, which we suggest involve re-engaging in activities, adapting participation, and reconstructing identity. This conceptual model outlines and defines the factors and processes operating and contributing to resiliency following TBI. Recommendations for future research are outlined. Implications for rehabilitation Investigating resiliency processes can move the traumatic brain injury field beyond examining individual traits and protective factors, to transactional processes that influence participation experiences and opportunities over time. The Traumatic Brain Injury Resiliency Model can be used to frame the targets and desired outcomes of rehabilitation interventions, such as self-regulatory processes or environmental supports known to enhance resiliency. Studying resiliency will help to shift the paradigms of traumatic brain injury research, and rehabilitation practice, to a focus on life experiences and adaptation, helping individuals, clinicians, and families consider processes of positive change, rather than focusing solely on adversity.
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