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Disabil Rehabil. 2015;37(17):1511-21. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2015.1045992. Epub 2015 May 19.

Review of the literature on the use of social media by people with traumatic brain injury (TBI).

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Department of Speech Pathology, Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle , Newcastle , Australia .



To review the literature relating to use of social media by people with a traumatic brain injury (TBI), specifically its use for social engagement, information exchange or rehabilitation.


A systematic review with a qualitative meta-synthesis of content themes was conducted. In June 2014, 10 databases were searched for relevant, peer-reviewed research studies in English that related to both TBI and social media.


Sixteen studies met the inclusion criteria, with Facebook™ and Twitter™ being the most common social media represented in the included studies. Content analysis identified three major categories of meaning in relation to social media and TBI: (1) risks and benefits; (2) barriers and facilitators; and (3) purposes of use of social media. A greater emphasis was evident regarding potential risks and apparent barriers to social media use, with little focus on facilitators of successful use by people with TBI.


Research to date reveals a range of benefits to the use of social media by people with TBI however there is little empirical research investigating its use. Further research focusing on ways to remove the barriers and increase facilitators for the use of social media by people with TBI is needed.


Brain injury; Twitter; cognitive; communication disorder; inclusion; online

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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