Available supports and resources for postsecondary students with traumatic brain injury: A systematic review of the literature

Emily Tarconish, Allison Lombardi, Joseph Madaus, Ashley Taconet, Carl Coelho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Postsecondary students with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are a rapidly growing population, encompassing those who sustained injuries prior to attending postsecondary education and those who endure injuries during their postsecondary studies. Not only do these individuals face a broad range of symptoms, all of which can affect academic achievement, but they also do not achieve comparable academic outcomes to their peers without disabilities. OBJECTIVE: There is a need to develop and examine the effectiveness of available supports and resources to meet the needs of these students. METHODS: Twenty-three articles were systematically reviewed to illustrate what supports are currently described in the literature for postsecondary students with TBI and what research methods were used to assess the effectiveness of these supports. RESULTS: Three categories of supports emerged, including concussion management protocols, typical study/learning strategies and accommodations, and interventions developed specifically for this population. Findings also indicated a lack of rigorous research methods used to assess these interventions' effects. CONCLUSIONS: Implications for future research include a need for additional study of all supports and resources described in this review, and assessment of whether or not education professionals, including postsecondary disability services professionals, are aware of and using the tools and strategies addressed in this review.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-26
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Vocational Rehabilitation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • disability
  • interventions
  • postsecondary education
  • supports
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Occupational Therapy


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