Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Dr. Diane Dirette

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Cooper

Third Advisor

Dr. Debra Lindstrom Hazel

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


My study investigates the development of self-awareness and use of compensatory strategies in eight adults with traumatic brain injuries using the Awareness Questionnaire (AQ) and three additional questions of descriptive nature. This study also examines whether or not the severity of brain injury (mild, moderate, severe) impacts the development of self-awareness. In addition, the spouses' perceptions of client awareness are compared to the relatives' to determine existence of potential variance.

Results indicate that while there is no significant difference in self-awareness_ between the mild and moderate groups, the severe group significantly varies from both the mild and moderate groups. Also, results indicate that there is no significant difference between significant other (SO) and relative perceptions of client self-awareness. Exploration of descriptive data reveals that development of self-awareness is a lengthier process for clients with severe TBI than clients with mild and/or moderate TBI. Three methods of self-awareness development are identified: self- identification, talking with loved ones, and contact with health care professionals. Further analysis of descriptive data indicates that writing things down is the most commonly identified compensatory strategy that was used. Implications for rehabilitation and future research are discussed.