Research Reports - The effect of pediatric traumatic brain injury on behavioral outcomes: a systematic review

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2012 Sep 23

Li L, Liu J

Aim  To review systematically the empirical evidence on traumatic brain injury
(TBI) during childhood and subsequent behavioral problems. Method  An initial
literature search with keywords 'brain injury,''children,' and 'behavior' was
conducted using Web of Knowledge and PubMed databases. Ancestry was also used.
Original research studies published between 1990 and February 2012 focusing on
behavioral outcomes of children sustaining TBI from ages 0 to 18 years were
included. Results  Fifty studies, varying considerably in methodologies, were
included in the review. Findings showed that up to 50% of brain-injured children
are at risk for presenting with specific behavioral problems and disorders. These
problems may emerge shortly or several years after injury and often persist and
even worsen with time. These behavioral impairments appear to be moderated by the
family environment. Interpretation  Survivors of childhood TBI are at risk for
developing and sustaining behavioral impairments. Stronger research is needed to
identify cognitive and environmental factors that contribute to the onset and
maintenance of these problems. Healthcare providers should ensure adequate
follow-up and assessment of a child's behavioral, social, and neurocognitive
domains. Caregivers should be encouraged to provide positive environments and
parenting styles, which may help reduce chronic behavioral problems after brain

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