Cluster Analysis of Self-Awareness Levels in Adults with Traumatic Brain Injury and Relationship to Outcome Academic Article uri icon


  • The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between self-awareness, emotional distress, motivation, and outcome in adults with severe traumatic brain injury. A sample of 55 patients were selected from 120 consecutive patients with severe traumatic brain injury admitted to the rehabilitation unit of a large metropolitan public hospital. Subjects received multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation and different types of outpatient rehabilitation and community-based services according to availability and need. Measures used in the cluster analysis were the Patient Competency Rating Scale, Self-Awareness of Deficits Interview, Head Injury Behavior Scale, Change Assessment Questionnaire, the Beck Depression Inventory, and Beck Anxiety Inventory; outcome measures were the Disability Rating Scale, Community Integration Questionnaire, and Sickness Impact Profile. A three-cluster solution was selected, with groups labeled as high self-awareness (n = 23), low self-awareness (n = 23), and good recovery (n = 8). The high self-awareness cluster had significantly higher levels of self-awareness, motivation, and emotional distress than the low self-awareness cluster but did not differ significantly in outcome. Self-awareness after brain injury is associated with greater motivation to change behavior and higher levels of depression and anxiety; however, it was not clear that this heightened motivation actually led to any improvement in outcome. Rehabilitation timing and approach may need to be tailored to match the individual's level of self-awareness, motivation, and emotional distress.

publication date

  • October 1998