SOURCE: Occupational Therapy Programme, SHTM, HSC, L 2, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
PURPOSE: Project Shake-It-Up provided a health promotion and capacity building program for individuals with spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and related neurological impairments. Major research aims were to evaluate changes in participants’ self-efficacy, ability to set/achieve goals, and perceived independent-living status.
METHODS: Participants completed self-efficacy measures at baseline, program completion, 6- and 12-month follow-up, and set health and/or independent living goals. Progress toward goal attainment was monitored periodically and assessed qualitatively.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference in the change in self-efficacy scores for intervention participants compared to non-participants. Participants gained independent-living skills and confidence in their abilities to set and achieve a variety of goals, in the areas of education, employment, housing, transportation, accessing community resources and activities, participation in sports and leisure, and health promotion.
CONCLUSIONS: Researchers evaluated results using a disability studies framework of empowerment which recognizes the role of environment, gender, race/ethnicity, and social status in the experience of disability. Participants reported increased independence, community access, and participation. They took action in multiple arenas with changes observed and reported in areas of intrapersonal, interpersonal, and behavioral functioning that indicated greater personal empowerment.