To investigate postconcussive symptoms (PCS) following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), 8- to 15-year-old children with mTBI (n = 186) and a comparison group with uncomplicated orthopedic injuries (OI, n = 99) were recruited from two emergency departments. Parent and child ratings of PCS and symptom counts were obtained within 3 weeks after injury (baseline) and at 1, 3, and 12 months postinjury. The mTBI group also completed magnetic resonance imaging at baseline. Group differences were examined using growth modeling, controlling for age at injury, sex, socioeconomic status, and (for parent-based measures) preinjury symptom levels. Relative to the OI group, the mTBI group had higher ratings of somatic PCS and parent counts of PCS at the initial assessments, but higher parent ratings of cognitive PCS and child counts of PCS throughout follow-up. Higher levels of PCS in the mTBI group were associated with motor-vehicle-related trauma, loss of consciousness, neuroimaging abnormalities, and hospitalization. The findings validate both transient and persistent PCS in children with mTBI and document associations of symptoms with injury and noninjury factors.
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