Publications and Research

Document Type


Publication Date



People experiencing disability and chronic disease often feel powerless, relinquishing medical control to “more knowledgeable” professionals. This article presents qualitative and quantitative results from three individual patients experiencing an emerging procedure called Recovery Preference Exploration (RPE). To inspire greater patient involvement, self-direction, and individual choice, we instructed participants to create an imagined recovery path, exposing recovery preferences while learning about clinical rehabilitation concepts. Results uncovered important values and feelings about disability, providing a richer context for patient evaluation and treatment goal modification. Applying mixed methods, RPE is presented as an explanatory process for quantifying recovery preferences in a way that stimulates rich narrative of how people see different types of disabilities. RPE shows promise for increasing depth of discussions among patients, family, and clinicians. RPE may promote greater quality of life through patient empowerment by directed learning, increased communication, and enhanced self-knowledge.


This work was originally published in Qualitative Health Research, available at doi: 10.1177/1049732307309006



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.