Hope Predicts Positive Functional Role Outcomes in Acute Rehabilitation Populations

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Purpose/Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the association between facilitating psychological variables and functional rehabilitation outcomes following acute medical rehabilitation. Research Method/Design: Using a longitudinal design and correlational and regression analyses, we studied 174 adults who were participating in inpatient rehabilitation for acute spinal cord dysfunction, stroke, amputation, or orthopedic surgery recovery. All participants completed the Hope Scale, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, and Functional Independence Measure (FIM) during the first days of their inpatient stay, and then were contacted 3 months after discharge to complete the Craig Hospital Assessment and Reporting Technique (CHART) and FIM. Results: Hope accounted for a statistically significant amount of the variance in the prediction of functional role participation at 3 months postdischarge (as measured by the CHART) above and beyond the variance accounted for by demographic and severity variables. In contrast, positive affect was not found to contribute to the prediction of functional role participation, and neither hope nor positive affect contributed to the prediction of functional skill level (FIM). Conclusions/Implications: The results indicate that positive psychological variables present during the rehabilitation stay, such as hopefulness, may contribute to the prediction of functional outcomes after discharge in rehabilitation populations. These findings suggest that incorporating interventions that enhance hope and build on the individual's psychological strengths may be useful to improve participation outcomes following acute medical rehabilitation.

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