Objective: To assess lifetime and current psychiatric disorders at least 1 year after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children and adolescents.
Method: Forty-six youths who sustained a TBI between the ages of 6 through 15 years were evaluated at least 1 year post-TBI to identify the presence of lifetime and/or novel psychiatric disorders. Semistructured interviews of the parent and child and standardized parent self-report rating instruments were used.
Results: Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depressive disorders were the most common lifetime and novel diagnoses. A wide variety and high rate of novel psychiatric disorders were identified; 74% of these disorders persisted in 48% of the injured children. Internalizing disorders were more likely to resolve than externalizing disorders. Both interviews and parent ratings were sensitive to current externalizing behaviors; interviews more often detected internalizing disorders, whereas parent ratings also identified cognitive difficulties.
Conclusions: Findings were generally consistent with previous research demonstrating the high rate of novel psychiatric disorders following pediatric TBI. Psychiatric interviews were sensitive in identifying both lifetime and novel disorders.