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Review of self-awareness and its clinical application in stroke rehabilitation

Leung, Daniel P.K.a; Liu, Karen P.Y.b

International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: September 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 187–195
doi: 10.1097/MRR.0b013e3283487f31
Review articles

The objectives of this study were (i) to explore, following a literature review, the concepts of self-awareness, its assessment, and intervention for self-awareness deficits, as well as its clinical significance in stroke rehabilitation; and (ii) to apply the concepts of self-awareness in the context of a rehabilitation program. The search was conducted by the electronic databases Web of Science, Science Direct, MEDLINE, and PsychcInfo. A systematic literature search of publications written in English between 1980 and 2010 was conducted using the keywords, self-awareness or self-regulation. The search was limited to the following keywords: stroke, deficits, assessment, intervention, and rehabilitation. Two important conceptual models, namely, the Pyramid Model of Self-Awareness and the Dynamic Comprehensive Model of Awareness, were reviewed. Suggestions were made to the constraint-induced movement therapy for enhancement of both assessment and treatment of self-awareness deficits. In conclusion, self-awareness is essential for the success of rehabilitation. It is hoped that more studies can be conducted on the effectiveness of awareness enhancement programs incorporated in on-going therapies can be conducted, so that the evidence base can be further built up in this evolving area of practice.

aTung Wah Group of Hospitals

bDepartment of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Correspondence to Karen P.Y. Liu, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2766 4801; fax: +852 2330 8656; e-mail:

Received November 17, 2010

Accepted May 2, 2011

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.