Research Reports - Incidence of disability among children 12 months after traumatic brain injury

Am J Public Health. 2012 Sep 20

Rivara FP, Koepsell TD, Wang J, Temkin N, Dorsch A, Vavilala MS, Durbin D, Jaffe KM

Objectives. We examined the burden of disability resulting from traumatic brain
injuries (TBIs) among children younger than 18 years. Methods. We derived our
data from a cohort study of children residing in King County, Washington, who
were treated in an emergency department for a TBI or for an arm injury during
2007-2008. Disabilities 12 months after injury were assessed according to need
for specialized educational and community-based services and scores on
standardized measures of adaptive functioning and social-community participation.
Results. The incidence of children receiving new services at 12 months was about
10-fold higher among those with a mild TBI than among those with a moderate or
severe TBI. The population incidence of disability (defined according to scores
below the norm means on the outcome measures included) was also consistently much
larger (2.8-fold to 28-fold) for mild TBIs than for severe TBIs. Conclusions. The
burden of disability caused by TBIs among children is primarily accounted for by
mild injuries. Efforts to prevent these injuries as well as to decrease levels of
disability following TBIs are warranted.

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