Health-Related Quality of Life after Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion: A Systematic Review

J Neurotrauma. 2016 Sep 1;33(17):1561-8. doi: 10.1089/neu.2015.4292. Epub 2016 Apr 15.


Health-related quality of life (HRQOL) is an emerging method to quantify the consequences of pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI)/concussion in both clinical practice and research. However, to utilize HRQOL measurements to their full potential in the context of mTBI/concussion recovery, a better understanding of the typical course of HRQOL after these injuries is needed. The objective of this study was to summarize current knowledge on HRQOL after pediatric mTBI/concussion and identify areas in need of further research. The following databases from their earliest date of coverage through June 1, 2015 were used: MEDLINE(®), PubMed, Embase, Scopus, Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), and Child Development and Adolescent Studies (CDAS). Studies must have examined and reported HRQOL in a pediatric population after mTBI/concussion, using a validated HRQOL measurement tool. Eight of 1660 records identified ultimately met inclusion criteria. Comprehensive data were extracted and checked by a second reviewer for accuracy and completeness. There appears to be a small but important subgroup of patients who experience poor HRQOL outcomes up to a year or longer post-injury. Potential predictors of poor HRQOL include older age, lower socioeconomic status, or a history of headaches or trouble sleeping. Differing definitions of mTBI precluded meta-analysis. HRQOL represents an important outcome measure in mTBI/concussion clinical practice and research. The evidence shows that a small but important proportion of patients have diminished HRQOL up to a year or longer post-injury. Further study on this topic is warranted to determine the typical longitudinal progression of HRQOL after pediatric concussion.

Keywords: HRQOL; concussion; mTBI.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Brain Concussion / complications*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*