Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society



Cognitive outcome in children and adolescents following severe traumatic brain injury: Influence of psychosocial, psychiatric, and injury-related variables


JEFFREY E.  MAX a1c1, MARY ANN  ROBERTS a2, SHARON L.  KOELE a1, SCOTT D.  LINDGREN a2, DONALD A.  ROBIN a4, STEPHAN  ARNDT a1, WILBUR L.  SMITH  JR. a3 and YUTAKA  SATO a3
a1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
a2 Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
a3 Department of Radiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
a4 Department of Speech Pathology and Audiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Abstract

Previous studies of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) have emphasized injury-related variables rather than psychiatric or psychosocial factors as correlates of cognitive outcomes. We addressed this concern by recruiting a consecutive series (N = 24) of children age 5 through 14 years who suffered a severe TBI, a matched group who sustained a mild TBI, and a second matched group who sustained an orthopedic injury. Standardized intellectual, memory, psychiatric, family functioning, family psychiatric history, neurological, and neuroimaging assessments were conducted at an average of 2 years following injury. Severe TBI, when compared to mild TBI and orthopedic injury, was associated with significant decrements in intellectual and memory function. A principal components analysis of independent variables that showed significant (p < .05) bivariate correlations with the outcome measures yielded a neuropsychiatric factor encompassing severity of TBI indices and postinjury psychiatric disorders and a psychosocial disadvantage factor. Both factors were independently and significantly related to intellectual and memory function outcome. Postinjury psychiatric disorders added significantly to severity indices and family functioning and family psychiatric history added significantly to socioeconomic status in explaining several specific cognitive outcomes. These results may help to define subgroups of children who will require more intensive services following their injuries. (JINS, 1999, 5, 58–68.)

(Received January 12 1998)
(Revised May 11 1998)
(Accepted May 21 1998)


Key Words: Traumatic brain injury; Orthopedic injury; Children; IQ; Memory.

Correspondence:
c1 Reprint requests to: J.E. Max, Department of Psychiatry, 1876 JPP, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, Iowa City, IA 52242.


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