Research Reports - Predictors of child post-concussion symptoms at 6 and 18 months following mild traumatic brain injury

Brain Inj. 2013;27(2):145-57

Olsson KA, Lloyd OT, Lebrocque RM, McKinlay L, Anderson VA, Kenardy JA

Background: A proportion of children will experience persistent post-concussion
symptoms (PCS) following a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). As persistent PCS
may be maintained by pathological and psychological factors, this study aimed to
describe and evaluate potential pre- and post-injury parent and child predictors
of persistent PCS. Methods: A total of 150 children with mTBI and their parents
participated. Parents completed measures of their own distress and children's PCS
and health-related quality-of-life (HRQoL) at baseline (reflecting pre-injury
function). These measures, as well as measures of children's distress and
cognitive function were administered at 6 and 18 months post-injury. Results:
Children's PCS at 6 months post-injury were predicted by both pre-injury parent
distress and children's pre-injury PCS. At 18 months post-injury, children's PCS
were predicted by higher levels of parent distress and child PCS at 6 months
post-injury, as well as poorer post-injury cognitive functioning. Change in PCS
between 6-18 months post-injury was predicted by parent's pre-injury anxiety and
children's HRQoL. Conclusions: Children at risk of persistent PCS can be
identified by higher levels of pre- and post-injury PCS, parent distress and
poorer post-injury cognition. These factors should be addressed by interventions
aimed at minimizing the occurrence and impact of child PCS.

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