Primary objective: During childhood, the central nervous system is in a state of rapid development which can be interrupted by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study aimed to describe if and how TBI during childhood influences health and life situation, 5-8 years later.
Research design: A case-control retrospective design was employed for the assessment of 61 adolescents and young adults with a mild, moderate or severe TBI and 229 matched controls from a normative group (16-24 years).
Methods and procedures: SF-36 (Short Form 36 health survey) and a self-reported questionnaire measuring life situation were distributed to youths suffering TBI 5-8 years ago. Forty-five youths (74%) completed the questionnaires.
Main outcomes and results: Participants with a TBI stated lower self-estimated health compared with the normative group. Remaining self-reported symptoms were physical and cognitive. Negative effects of TBI influencing school results, leisure activities and thoughts about future life situation were also described.
Conclusion: Young individuals experience sustained negative effects of childhood TBI on health and life situation. More research is necessary to detect, understand and properly support these youths.