Research Reports - Family function and its relationship to injury severity and psychiatric outcome in children with acquired brain injury

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2014 Jan;56(1):19-30

Lax Pericall MT, Taylor E

AIM: The psychological and psychiatric outcome of children with acquired brain
injury is influenced by many variables. A review was undertaken to clarify the
contribution of family function, how it relates to injury severity, and what
particular aspects of family function influence psychological outcome in this
group.
METHOD: A systematized review of the literature of studies published between 1970
and 2012 from OvidMedline, PsychoInfo, PsycARTICLES, and Cochrane was undertaken
focusing on family function, injury severity, and psychiatric outcome.
RESULTS: Thirty-six papers met the inclusion criteria. Injury severity was linked
to the development of organic personality change. Family function before injury,
measured by the Family Assessment Device or the Clinical Rating Scale, had a
statistically significant effect on general psychological functioning in six out
of eight studies. Family function had a significant effect for oppositional
defiant disorder and secondary attention-deficit-hyperactivity disorder. The
effects of family function may differ depending on the age of the child and the
severity of the injury. Some styles of parenting moderated recovery. After
injury, family function was related to the child's contemporaneous psychiatric
symptoms. The level of evidence for these papers was 3 or 4 (Oxford Centre for
Evidence-based Medicine criteria).
INTERPRETATION: Screening for some aspects of family functioning before injury
and family function during the rehabilitation phase may identify children at risk
of psychiatric disorders.

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