Considering the student perspective in returning to school after TBI: a literature review

Brain Inj. 2012;26(10):1165-76. doi: 10.3109/02699052.2012.672785. Epub 2012 May 9.


Primary objective: This paper aims to (i) present a systematic review of the literature exploring students' perspectives of their educational experiences following TBI and (ii) identify important themes arising from this material which may assist clinicians and educators in improving support services and outcomes for their clients.

Methods and procedures: A systematic search was conducted of appropriate databases as well as manual searches of key references and expert authors. SEARCH CRITERIA INCLUDED: (i) presence of TBI and (ii) student as informant. No restrictions were placed on severity or age at injury, type of schooling, time since injury or return to school.

Main outcomes and results: Search results identified over 400 articles, eight of which met the relevance criteria. These studies showed large variations across informant characteristics and research designs. Despite this, a number of recurring themes outlining the students' perspectives were evident. These included: 'difficulties identified', 'impact of difficulties on study', 'things that helped' and 'things that were not helpful'.

Conclusions: Whilst some aspects of the students' stories resonated with the expert opinions widely published, there were further important insights. In particular, themes related to the concept of identity suggest that clinical approaches need to broaden and include tools that can assist students in the reconstruction of their lives.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Brain Injuries / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Cognition Disorders / psychology
  • Cognition Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Disabled Persons / statistics & numerical data*
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Schools
  • Students / psychology
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States / epidemiology