Students with spinal cord injury: a scoping review of evidence regarding return to study and education participation following rehabilitation

Arifa Jahan Ema, Ellie Fossey, Linda Barclay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


This scoping review aimed to map the breadth of available literature, and to understand the barriers and facilitators of return to study and education participation for students with SCI. The authors performed electronic searches of six databases for peer-reviewed articles published in English between January 1990 and March 2021. Key search terms included: spinal cord injury, students, education participation, academic reintegration, and school re-entry. Data charting was used to summarise the study characteristics. Eleven articles addressed the return to study and education participation of students with SCI. These studies used qualitative and quantitative methods and involved participants aged between 10 and 42 years. The findings addressed five main areas: importance of education, participation and performance in education, the physical environment, support network, and strategies for integration. This review shows that there is limited evidence available on this topic, mostly from small scale studies with variable quality. More research is needed to understand how best to support the educational participation and success of students with SCI. Policies targeted to mitigating barriers, including inaccessible environments and curricula, adequate information and supports, are also needed to better facilitate return to study and education participation of students with SCI.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022


  • Education participation
  • Paraplegia
  • Return to study
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Students
  • Tetraplegia

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