Self-regulation as rehabilitation outcome: what is important according to former patients?

T. I. Mol, C. A. M. van Bennekom, E. W. M. Scholten, J. M. A. Visser-Meily, M. F. Reneman, A. Riedstra, V. de Groot, J. W. G. Meijer, M. K. Bult, M. W. M. Post*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: Self-regulation refers to self-management and self-control, with or without disability. Outcomes of rehabilitation with respect to self-regulation are unclear. This study aims to identify elements of self-regulation that former patients consider important in the context of medical rehabilitation. Materials and methods: Qualitative exploration based on focus group discussions (FGDs). Transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis as well as open coding. Forty individuals participated in seven diagnosis-related FGDs. Results: Six subthemes were raised in the FGDs which could be merged into three main themes. Two main themes are conditional for regaining self-regulation: 1) having insight into one’s condition and abilities (i.e., insight into impairments. consequences of impairments. abilities); 2) to know how to cope with the consequences of the condition (be able to communicate limitations; have to trust in body and functioning). The subject of the last theme 3) is how to apply self-regulation in one’s own life (to make use of abilities and optimize functioning). Conclusions: Three main themes of self-regulation in the context of medical rehabilitation were identified by former patients, partly relating to the ability to self-regulate and partly to the execution of self-regulation. This knowledge can be used to define specific rehabilitation goals and further develop rehabilitation outcome measurement.IMPLICATIONS FOR REHABILITATION Awareness of the fundamental subthemes of self-regulation in rehabilitation will positively contribute to theory building and improve clinical practice (e.g., goal setting). Paying explicit attention to the six subthemes as standard elements of rehabilitation will help to provide a comprehensive view concerning self-regulation. The conceptual model of self-regulation, based on patient perspectives, can contribute to the measurement of rehabilitation outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Early online date2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021

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