Research Reports - Long-term school outcomes of children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2016 Jan 29. [Epub ahead of print]

Prasad MR(1), Swank PR, Ewing-Cobbs L.

OBJECTIVE: To better understand the impact of age at injury, severity of injury,
and time since injury on long-term school outcomes of children with traumatic
brain injury (TBI).
PARTICIPANTS: Four groups of children: complicated mild/moderate TBI (n = 23),
severe TBI (n = 56), orthopedic injury (n = 35), and healthy controls (n = 42).
Children with TBI were either 2 years postinjury or 6 years postinjury.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional design.
MEASURES: School records as well as parental ratings of functional academic
skills and school competency.
RESULTS: Children with severe TBI had consistently high usage of school services
and low school competency ratings than children with orthopedic injuries and
healthy controls. In contrast, children with complicated-mild/moderate TBI were
significantly more likely to receive school support services and have lower
competence ratings at 6 years than at 2 years postinjury. Students injured at
younger ages had lower functional academic skill ratings than those injured at
older ages.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the increasing academic challenges faced
over time by students with complicated-mild/moderate TBI and the vulnerability of
younger children to poorer development of functional academic skills. 

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