Neurocognitive outcomes and recovery after pediatric TBI: meta-analytic review of the literature

Neuropsychology. 2009 May;23(3):283-96. doi: 10.1037/a0015268.


Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) continues to be one of the leading causes of death and disability in the pediatric population. Although the literature on neurocognitive outcomes is relatively rich, studies vary significantly in the methods used to group subjects on several moderating variables, including age at injury, injury severity, and time since injury, making it difficult to combine and summarize the data for comparison. Further complicating this effort is the wide range of measures used to document functional outcomes in key neurocognitive domains. In this meta-analytic review, 28 publications (1988 to 2007) that met inclusion criteria were summarized based on three distinct injury severity and time post injury groups for 14 key neurocognitive domains. Effect sizes were calculated to reflect the extent to which the above groups differed in case-control and case-case studies, as well as address recovery based on longitudinal studies. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first published quantitative summary of the literature on neurocognitive outcomes after pediatric TBI. Limitations of the current state of the literature as well as recommendations for future studies are discussed.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries / psychology
  • Brain Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Cognition*
  • Humans
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pediatrics
  • Prognosis
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Recovery of Function*
  • Severity of Illness Index