Chronic Aspects of Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: Review of the Literature

J Neurotrauma. 2015 Dec 1;32(23):1849-60. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.3971.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children, while the brain is in a state of rapid change and development, can adversely impact their development, their extended environment, and their families. The extant literature has identified several physiological, genetic, and environmental variables that predict outcomes after pediatric TBI; nonetheless, the individual course of recovery and later development of a given child is uniquely shaped by injury-related factors (e.g., nature and extent of the injury itself, the developmental status of the child) as well as a number of personal and family variables (e.g., pre-injury cognitive, genetic, and psychological status of the child, family functioning and resources, coping style). Further, the effects of a brain injury during development may or may not become evident immediately after injury depending on a number of factors. Instead, observing trajectories of development over time may allow for a better understanding of the long-term consequences in many functional domains that interest researchers, clinicians, and families. The current article reviews the chronic aspects of medical/health, cognitive/academic, emotional/behavioral, and family/social outcomes after pediatric TBI, with the goal of providing monitoring and treatment strategies for affected children and their families, as well as serving as a resource for researchers designing studies to better understand this heterogeneous population.

Keywords: academic; chronic outcomes; health outcomes, neurocognitive; pediatric brain injury.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Injury, Chronic / complications*
  • Brain Injury, Chronic / pathology*
  • Brain Injury, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Child
  • Humans
  • Recovery of Function
  • Risk Factors