• measurements;
  • nursing;
  • recovery;
  • self-care;
  • traumatic injury

chaboyer w., ringdal m., aitken l. & kendall e. (2012) Self-care after traumatic injury and the use of the therapeutic self-care scale in trauma populations. Journal of Advanced Nursing69(2), 286–294 doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2012.06005.x.


Aims.  To report a correlational study of the relationship between gender, age, severity of injury, length of hospital stay and self-care behaviour in patients with traumatic injuries.

Background.  This study may provide a foundation for targeted nursing intervention and education programmes to help patients better recover from their injury, which is a fundamental aspect of nursing.

Design.  A longitudinal cohort study.

Method.  This study of patients hospitalized for traumatic injury was conducted from May 2006–November 2007. The Therapeutic Self Care Scale along with demographic and clinical data, were completed at 3 and 6 months after hospital discharge. Using data from the 3-month survey, the validity and reliability of the scale was calculated. Multiple regression was used to identify predictors of self-care at 3 and 6 months.

Finding.  Participants (= 125) completed the questionnaire at 3 months and 103 participants completed it at 6 months. Self-care was high on both occasions and high self-care at 3 months was related to high self-care at 6 months. Older participants reported higher self-care at 3 months compared with younger patients. Factor analysis of the scale revealed three clear components; taking medication, recognition and managing symptoms and managing changes in health conditions, which explained a total of 59·8% of the variance. The 10-item revised scale was reliable.

Conclusion.  The findings indicate that self-care remains fairly high and stable in the first 6 months after trauma. The revised Therapeutic Self Care Scale was valid and reliable in the trauma population.