Measuring enfranchisement: Importance of and control over participation by people with disabilities

Allen W. Heinemann*, Susan Magasi, Rita K. Bode, Joy Hammel, Gale G. Whiteneck, Jennifer Bogner, John D. Corrigan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the psychometric properties and validity of an expanded set of community enfranchisement items that are suitable for computer adaptive testing. Design: Survey. Setting: Community setting. Participants: Individuals with disabilities (N=1163) were recruited from an online panel generation company (51%), former rehabilitation inpatients (18%), disability community organizations (13%), a registry of rehabilitation patients (10%), and Traumatic Brain Injury and Spinal Cord Injury Model System facilities (8%). Inclusion criteria were a self-identified disability, aged ≥18 years, and the ability to read and speak English. Interventions: None. Main Outcome Measure: Community enfranchisement. Results: Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of the 48 enfranchisement items suggested 2 distinct subsets of items: (1) importance of participation and (2) control over participation. Principal components analysis of the residuals suggested that the 2 item sets are unidimensional. Rating scale analysis provided evidence that the 2 item sets fit the Rasch model. Importance and control were moderately correlated with each other and with disability severity. Conclusions: Importance of participation and control over participation define 2 distinct sets of participation enfranchisement. Preliminary evidence supports their validity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2157-2165
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • Psychometrics
  • Quality of life
  • Rehabilitation
  • Social participation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation


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