Exploring the study skills and accommodations used by college student survivors of traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2010 Jan;24(1):13-26. doi: 10.3109/02699050903446823.


Primary objective: Survivors of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) recovering sufficiently to attend post-secondary institutions often display learning skills differing from those of traditional students; because of this, many use formal and informal accommodations and learning strategies to support academic performance and social integration. Professionals know little about how accommodations and learning strategies affect educational experiences of college student survivors, how best to apply accommodations and learning strategies, how much survivors embrace them, the extent to which they facilitate college success or how they evolve over time. The purpose of this study was to explore these issues.

Research design: The researchers collected and analysed qualitative data using a multiple case study design.

Methods and procedures: Collected data included interviews, artifacts and field notes from four college student survivors, members of their families, college instructors and personnel from institution's offices for students with disabilities.

Main outcomes and results: Findings suggest challenges, learning strategies, future perspectives and the need for academic accommodations fluctuate and evolve for many years post-injury. Findings also suggest some survivors perceive their learning capabilities more positively than do others associated with them, leading to questions about whether over-accommodation occurs and the potential negative ramifications associated with this practice.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological / physiology
  • Adult
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Qualitative Research
  • Student Health Services / standards*
  • Students / psychology*
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult