Outcome and Predictors of Functional Recovery 5 Years Following Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

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ObjectivesThe aim was to examine functional outcomes following traumatic brain injury (TBI) during early childhood, to investigate impairments up to 5 years postinjury and identify predictors of outcome.MethodsThe study compared three groups of children (mild=11, moderate=22, severe=15), aged 2.0–6.11 years at injury, to a healthy control group (n=17). Using a prospective, longitudinal design, adaptive abilities, behavior, and family functioning were investigated acutely, 6, 30 months and 5 years postinjury, with educational progress investigated at 30 months and 5 years postinjury.ResultsA strong association was suggested between injury severity and outcomes across all domains. Further, 5-year outcomes in adaptive and behavioral domains were best predicted by preinjury levels of child function, and educational performance by injury severity.ConclusionChildren who sustain a severe TBI in early childhood are at greatest risk of long-term impairment in day-to-day skills in the long-term postinjury.

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