Social problem solving and community integration in adults with traumatic brain injury
The purpose of this study was to enhance understanding of the role that problem-solving ability plays in psychosocial adjustment following traumatic brain injury (TBI). This goal was addressed by uniting two previously distinct fields of inquiry: counseling psychology's literature on social problem solving and rehabilitation neuropsychology's literature on community integration in individuals with TBI. ^ A sample of adults with TBI and intact general intellectual ability ( n = 45) was assessed on measures of community integration (Community Integration Questionnaire), social problem-solving self-appraisal (Problem Solving Inventory), social problem-solving performance (Personal Problem-Solving System) and cognitive problem solving (Wisconsin Card Sorting Test). As hypothesized, when compared to healthy controls, adults with TBI demonstrated poor social problem-solving ability as measured by both self-appraisal and performance methods. In addition, social problem-solving self-appraisal predicted a significant proportion of the variance (21%) in community integration in the TBI sample. ^ This study provides the first empirical support for the long-postulated relationship between social problem solving and real-life adjustment in individuals with TBI. The findings contribute to the knowledge base concerning barriers that interfere with a return to “normal life” for TBI survivors and may allow psychologists to make more accurate prognoses and more focused psychoeducational and rehabilitative interventions. ^ The utility of the self-report data is consistent with recent research which has indicated that self-report in individuals with TBI may be more meaningful than previously understood and therefore a potential source of valuable information. The current findings thus contribute to the empirical basis for the trend toward increased consideration of TBI survivors' self-report, especially in higher-level outpatient cognitive rehabilitation. ^ Given the empirical support obtained in this study for the relationship between social problem-solving self-appraisal and community integration, psychoeducational interventions designed to improve social problem-solving ability might be expected to positively impact the community integration levels of individuals with TBI. Empirical validation of the social problem-solving model as a framework for higher-level cognitive rehabilitation strategies, and the impact of such strategies on community integration levels, should be explored. ^
Health Sciences, Rehabilitation and Therapy|Psychology, Clinical|Psychology, Cognitive
Joseph Francis Rath,
"Social problem solving and community integration in adults with traumatic brain injury"
(January 1, 2000).
ETD Collection for Fordham University.