Lifetime and novel psychiatric disorders after pediatric traumatic brain injury

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2001 May;40(5):572-9. doi: 10.1097/00004583-200105000-00017.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / diagnosis
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / etiology*
  • Brain Injuries / psychology*
  • Child
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Time Factors