Research Reports - Role of character strengths in outcome after traumatic brain injury

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014 Nov;95(11):2096-102

Hanks RA(1), Rapport LJ(2), Waldron-Perrine B(3), Millis SR(3)

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effects of character strengths on psychosocial outcomes
after mild complicated to severe traumatic brain injury (TBI).
DESIGN: Prospective study with consecutive enrollment.
SETTING: A Midwestern rehabilitation hospital.
PARTICIPANTS: Persons with mild complicated to severe TBI (N=65).
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Community Integration Measure, Disability Rating Scale,
Modified Cumulative Illness Rating Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule,
Satisfaction with Life Scale, Values in Action Inventory of Strengths, and
Wechsler Test of Adult Reading.
RESULTS: Character virtues and strengths were moderately associated with
subjective outcomes, such that there were fewer and less strong associations
between character virtues/strengths and objective outcomes than subjective
outcomes. Specifically, positive attributes were associated with greater life
satisfaction and perceived community integration. Fewer and less strong
associations were observed for objective well-being; however, character strengths
and virtues showed unique value in predicting physical health and disability.
Positive affectivity was not meaningfully related to objective outcomes, but it
was significantly related to subjective outcomes. In contrast, negative
affectivity was related to objective but not subjective outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS: Given the strength of the associations between positive aspects of
character or ways of perceiving the world and positive feelings about one's
current life situation, treatments focused on facilitating these virtues and
strengths in persons who have experienced TBI may result in better perceived
outcomes and potentially subsequently lower comorbidities.

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