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The student journey: living and learning following traumatic brain injury

journal contribution
posted on 11.08.2021, 04:39 authored by Margaret MealingsMargaret Mealings, Jacinta DouglasJacinta Douglas, J Olver
Primary objective: In this research we set out to gain further understanding of the experiences of students participating in secondary and tertiary education following TBI: exploring academic and non-academic factors, as well as changes in experiences over time. Methods and procedures: A longitudinal, qualitative investigation was completed. 12 students (17–32 years) completed up to three in-depth interviews over a period of 4–15 months, capturing atotal of 30 time points. Data were analyzed using grounded theory methods. Main outcomes and results: Students’ participation experiences were unique and varied with different timelines and outcomes, however they shared many similar critical points. We interpreted their experiences as a student journey traveling through four significant landscapes, “Choosing to study”, “Studying”, “Deciding what to do”, “Making the next step.” Journeys involved complex processes of living and learning. Moving along the pathway was not always smooth or straightforward. Conclusions: Students’ experiences of returning to study following TBI can be interpreted as a complex journey of living and learning. Four important stages of the journey provide clinicians and educators with landscape features that can provide a structure for exploring supports to address both academic and non-academic factors to assist students in their study journey.


This research was supported by scholarships awarded to the first author by Epworth Healthcare and Victorian Brain Injury Recovery Association/East Kew Branch of the Community Bendigo Bank Research Scholarship.


Publication Date



Brain Injury






(p. 315-334)


Taylor and Francis



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