Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Background: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are acquired injuries resulting from an external trauma to the head (Brain Injury Association of America, 2019). The impact of a TBI is significant with those affected experiencing cognitive decline, decreased mobility, communication barriers, reduced social participation and impairments with engagement in valued occupations.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the existing literature regarding state resilience for persons who have experienced TBI.

Theoretical Framework: Occupational Adaptation Model promotes occupational performance in meaningful activities through adaptation, which is a continual process based on fluctuating changes in adversity.

Methods: This project design was a narrative analysis which examined, analyzed, and synthesized literature available for state resilience as it pertains to post-injury recovery after traumatic brain injury. Eight articles were included based on inclusion criteria of written in the last 30 years, in English, and peer reviewed. A top-down, deductive approach for thematic analysis occurred, resulting in the following themes: 1) Family-based interventions are essential to state resilience after TBI, 2) The physical and social environment play a crucial role in fostering state resilience after TBI, and 3) Attaining state resilience following TBI require a holistic and individualized approach that addresses the individual’s acceptance of self and their coping mechanisms.

Results: TBIs jeopardize the family unit often resulting in disruptions to roles, responsibilities, family culture, and communication skills. Disrupted family dynamics and cohesion can result in emotional distress and disconnect resulting in reduced adaptation after adversity. Implementing family-based interventions, examining the interaction of the physical and social environments, and utilizing a holistic and individualized approach to self-acceptance and coping mechanisms can foster resilience among survivors of TBI and their families.

Conclusions: Family-based interventions are essential; physical and social environments play a crucial role; and attaining state resilience requires a holistic and individualized approach that addresses acceptance of self and coping mechanisms. By promoting resilience amongst the TBI population, quality of life may be improved and long-term disability after injury may be prevented.

Faculty Mentor

Cassandra Ginn, OTD, OTR/L, CBIS

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Amanda Balser, OTD, MS, OTR/L, BCPR, ATP/SMS​

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy

Department Affiliation

Occupational Therapy