Obtaining a History of Childhood Traumatic Brain Injury Using the Ohio State University TBI Identification Method to Elicit Adult Recall

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To investigate the concordance between medically documented childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) and recall of same by adults aged 35 years.


A total of 962 birth cohort members from the Christchurch Health and Development Study available at the 35-year follow-up.

Main Measures:

Childhood TBI information prospectively collected yearly over ages 0 to 15 years as part of the Christchurch Health and Development Study. At age 35 years, cohort members were administered the Ohio State University TBI Identification Method (OSU TBI-ID) to elicit recall of TBIs with loss of consciousness (LOC).


Ninety-four individuals reported 116 TBI events. Twenty-five TBI events resulting in LOC, 17 (68%) were recalled (true positives) and 8 (32%) were not recalled (false negatives). LOC was incorrectly recalled for 56 events (false positives), but 868 individuals correctly recalled no TBI event (no LOC). A further 35 events were (correctly) recalled for which a TBI had been recorded but no LOC (true negatives; 91.8%).


We evaluated the utility of the OSU TBI-ID to identify adult recall of childhood TBI with LOC occurring 19 to 35 years earlier. Most of the cohort accurately reported whether or not they had experienced a medically attended TBI with LOC, indicating that a positive result from the OSU TBI-ID provides useful screening information.

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