Making Decisions – The Empowerment Scale

Author(s): 
Project staff
Project title: 
Rehabilitation Research and Training Center in Rehabilitation of Persons with Long-Term Mental Illness - A Process and Outcome Evaluation of a Recovery Center That Integrates Employment and Education Services with Wellness and Recovery.
Project Number: 
H133B990023
Tool type: 
Questionnaire
Tool class: 
Nonengineering tool
Disability targeted: 
Psychiatric disabilities
Study target: 
People with psychiatric disabilities and the wellness education programs in which they participate.
Study purpose or goal: 
To evaluate the effectiveness of psychosocial rehabilitation programs to determine if their services empower people.
Who administers this tool?: 
Completed by participants
Ease of use: 
Very easy
Time to complete: 
3 minutes
Skills needed: 
None
Equipment required: 
None
Sensitive issues: 
None
Are any approvals required?: 
unknown
How is it administered?: 
It is a self-reporting tool, filled out by a participant with a research associate to assist. The scale is easy for participants to use and can be completed in approximately three minutes. No special skills, equipment, or sensitive issues are involved.
What is the scope or what areas does it cover?: 
The Empowerment Scale takes measurement of empowerment, control and self-determination, and decision making in the recovery process at a wellness center. Confidentiality is maintained through coded forms. All participants sign informed consent agreement.
Development background: 
The scale is designed to study persons with mental illness participating in a wellness program and is used as a program evaluation tool to make sure a center is providing services that empower people. Research and development of the Empowerment Scale included extensive literature review in the fields of mental illness, recovery, and empowerment.
Outside consultation: 
The scale was also validated across several institutions.
Consumer input: 
Consumer input was integral to its development: the Advisory Board of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation is more than half consumer and contributed to and reviewed the scale for accuracy.
Can this tool be used for other purposes/populations?: 
Simple modifications to the scale would make it usable for similar programs for other populations.
Sample type: 
The original sample was limited to those participating in the program.
Data analysis: 
Is in process
Limitations: 
While there are no limitations to the scale itself, there are some limitations to the project itself in that it had fewer rigid research controls.
Findings: 
Data collection continues through the length of the 5-year project. Data analysis for this phase of the project was still in process as of December 2003. The project uses variant and covariant analyses to track changes over time. Missing data is a factor and is being handled using alternative methods. While there are no limitations to the scale itself, there are some limitations to the project itself in that it had fewer rigid research controls.
Research methods: 
The project uses variant and covariant analyses to track changes over time
Missing data is a factor and is being handled using alternative methods.
Impact of these findings on the field: 
It is hoped that this research will convince the mental health field that wellness education services are critical to the recovery process of people with serious mental illness.
Who uses the collected data?: 
Data collected and analyzed will most likely be used by program- and system-level personnel to judge the effectiveness of wellness programs.
Is this tool available free of charge?: 
No
Tool URL: 

The Empowerment Scale is a product of the Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation at Boston University. Prospective users should contact E. Sally Rogers, ScD, at the center for further information.

Tool contact: 
E. Sally Rogers, ScD
Email: 
erogers@bu.edu
Phone: 
617/353-3549
Name: 
Dori Hutchison, ScD