Research Reports - The prevalence of traumatic brain injury, comorbid anxiety and other psychiatric disorders in an outpatient child and adolescent mental health service

J Ment Health. 2017 Oct 5:1-7. doi: 10.1080/09638237.2017.1385733. [Epub ahead of
print]

Albicini M(1)(2), Eggleston M(3), McKinlay A(2).

BACKGROUND: A history of traumatic brain injury (TBI) is prevalent in children
and adolescents within the health system, which may be accompanied with higher
rates of poor mental health outcomes including anxiety and other psychiatric
disorders.
AIMS: To explore rates of TBI and associated anxiety and other psychiatric
diagnoses in children and adolescents aged 5-18 years within the mental health
system.
METHODS: Participants were recruited from an outpatient mental health service in
Canterbury, New Zealand. The Ohio State University TBI Identification method was
utilised to ascertain TBI history. Anxiety and other diagnoses were identified by
a mental health file review.
RESULTS: Over 28% of children in this study reported a history of TBI, the
majority of which were mild. Review of mental health files revealed no
significant differences between participants with and without TBI for anxiety and
psychiatric diagnoses.
CONCLUSIONS: A proportionately high number of children and adolescents within the
mental health system reported a previous TBI. However, anxiety and other
psychiatric problems were not over-represented in this group. Further research is
essential for examining the characteristics of children and adolescents with TBI
within the mental health system, particularly those with more severe injuries,
who may present a subgroup. 

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