Traumatic brain injury in children and adolescents: psychiatric disorders at two years

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;36(9):1278-85. doi: 10.1097/00004583-199709000-00021.


Objective: To extend findings regarding predictive factors of psychiatric outcome from the first to the second year after traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children and adolescents.

Method: Subjects were children aged 6 to 14 years at the time they were hospitalized after TBI. The study used a prospective follow-up design. Assessments of preinjury psychiatric, behavioral, adaptive functioning, family functioning and family psychiatric history status were conducted. Severity of injury was assessed by standard clinical scales and neuroimaging was analyzed. The outcome measure was the presence of a psychiatric disorder, not present before the injury ("novel"), during the second year after TBI.

Results: Fifty subjects enrolled, and the analyses focused on 42 subjects followed at 24 months. Severity of injury, preinjury family function, and preinjury lifetime psychiatric history predicted the development of a "novel" psychiatric disorder present in the second year.

Conclusion: These data suggest that there are children, identifiable through clinical assessment, at increased risk for "novel" psychiatric disorders in the second year after TBI.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Brain Injuries / complications*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / etiology
  • Coma / complications
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / etiology*
  • Neurotic Disorders / etiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychotic Disorders / etiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices*