The aim of the Personal Factors Research Program is to develop a comprehensive understanding of the role that individual psychosocial resources play in relation to functioning, disability and well-being in persons living with spinal cord injury in Switzerland, relying on a bio-psycho-social perspective.
Psychosocial resources are special personal factors. They refer to the health protecting and health promoting potentials of a person, and include the strengths, abilities, skills, successful strategies, and positive personality attributes of an individual. Psychosocial resources can act to buffer the negative impact of stressors and thereby enhance health and well-being.
Within SwiSCI, we are examining psychosocial resources, such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, hope and optimism, positive affect, purpose in life, social skills and social support in relation to coping and appraisals, in relation to depression, satisfaction, participation, or posttraumatic growth.
We have conducted systematic literature reviews of the current knowledge on psychsocial resources in SCI, qualitative focus group studies with mothers with SCI, psychometric evaluations of questionnaires in SCI using Rasch-analyses, and quantitative analyses using regression and structural equation modelling.
Focusing on resources, strengths and potentials in a population otherwise mostly considered from a deficit-oriented perspective is timely and necessary in order to broaden the range of existing possibilities for action and intervention. Better understanding of personal factors, psychosocial resources and their relation to disability and well-being means a basic step towards realizing the principles of patient empowerment, person-centered service delivery, optimal health care, and a good life for people with SCI.