Assessment tools measuring health-related empowerment in psychosocially vulnerable populations: A systematic review

Sandy Campbell, Jianxia Zhai, Jing-Yu Tan, Mursal Azami, Kym Cunningham, Sue Kruske

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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    Background: Many programs are undertaken to facilitate the empowerment of vulnerable populations across the world. However, an overview of appropriate empowerment measurements to evaluate such initiatives remains incomplete to date. This systematic review aims to describe and summarise psychometric properties, feasibility and clinical utility of the available tools for measuring empowerment in psychosocially vulnerable populations.

    Methods: A systematic literature review following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines was completed. A descriptive approach was used for data analysis. Papers were eligible if they explored the development, validation, cross-cultural translation or the utility of an empowerment measurement tool in the context of psychosocially vulnerable populations.

    Results: Twenty-six included articles described twenty-six separate studies in which 16 empowerment measurement tools were developed, validated/translated, or used. There was heterogeneity in empowerment constructs, samples targeted, and psychometric properties measured. The measurement of reliability of the included instruments was satisfactory in most cases. However, the validity, responsiveness, interpretability, feasibility and clinical utility of the identified measurement tools were often not adequately described or measured.

    Conclusion: This systematic review provides a useful snapshot of the strengths as well as limitations of existing health related empowerment measurement tools used with psychosocially vulnerable populations in terms of their measurement properties, and constructs captured. It highlights significant gaps in empowerment tool measurement, development and evaluation processes. In particular, the results suggest that in addition to systematic assessments of psychometric properties, the inclusion of feasibility and clinical utility as outcome measures are important to assess relevance to clinical practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number246
    Pages (from-to)1-17
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2021


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