Reflecting on a Self-Care Process in the Home Setting for Traumatic Brain Injury Survivors

Mary K. Coyle, MS APRN BC; Elisabeth Moy Martin, MA RNC


J Neurosci Nurs. 2007;39(5):274-277. 

In This Article


In young patients, the brain's plasticity influences adjustments to deficits and injury which occur over time (Salazar et al., 2000). Rehabilitation recommendations include a formalized process oriented toward rehabilitation in the home setting, which permits individuals to recognize and regulate their own behavior after TBI. Home rehabilitation may build upon patients' resources and strengths, and can be applied economically with telephonic monitoring as a medium for the delivery of nursing actions (Martin & Coyle, 2006).

Orem et al. (2001) define self-care as one's ability to perform on his or her own behalf in order to maintain healthy functioning. The self-care process builds on the tradition of nursing with the belief that "whatever the patient can do for himself is better" (Nightingale, 1969). Self-care and TBI rehabilitation assume changes will occur over time within a trajectory of healing. The self-care process permits examination of therapeutic windows of change and adjustment after TBI, and can minimize the occurrence of unhealthy behaviors. Thus, a self-care process after TBI merits further exploration and nursing research.


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