Research Reports - Symptoms of persistent behavior problems in children with mild traumatic brain injury

J Head Trauma Rehabil. 2015 Jan 27

Taylor HG(1), Orchinik LJ, Minich N, Dietrich A, Nuss K, Wright M, Bangert B, Rusin J, Yeates KO

OBJECTIVE:: To investigate the effects of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in
children on symptom ratings of behavior problems across the first-year
postinjury.
SETTING:: Emergency departments of 2 regional children's hospitals.
PARTICIPANTS:: Parents of 176 children with mTBI and 90 children with orthopedic
injury aged 8 to 15 years.
DESIGN:: Group comparisons of postinjury parent and teacher ratings of child
behavior problems controlling for background factors.
MAIN MEASURES:: Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher's Report Form.
RESULTS:: For younger but not older children in the sample, children with mTBI
compared with children with orthopedic injury had higher postinjury ratings on
the Child Behavior Checklist Total Behavior Problem scale (t264 = 3.34, P < .001)
and higher rates of T-scores of 60 or more on this scale (odds ratio = 3.00; 95%
confidence interval, 1.33-6.77; P = .008). For children with mTBI,
hospitalization, motor vehicle accidents, loss of consciousness, and magnetic
resonance imaging abnormality were associated with higher parent or teacher
ratings.
CONCLUSIONS:: School-aged children with mTBI are at risk for persistent symptoms
of behavior problems, especially if mTBI is more severe or occurs at a younger
age. The findings justify monitoring of behavior long after injury and further
research to identify risk factors for these symptoms and their association with
clinical disorders.

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