What are the Long-term Consequences of Preschool Head Injuries?
Posted Mar 25 2009 3:41pm
While mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is a leading cause of injury for children during their pre-school years, there is little information regarding the long-term outcomes of these injuries. A research study published in the February 2009 issue of Child: Care, Health and Development examines the epidemiology of MTBI in preschoolers. Using a birth cohort analysis, cases of confirmed MTBI were divided into an outpatient group of 55 children and an inpatient group of 21 children (admitted to hospital for observation). The remaining 852 children in the cohort served as the reference control group. The researchers examined mother/teacher ratings for behaviours associated with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and oppositional defiant/conduct disorder (obtained yearly from age 7 to 13) with results showing evidence of behavioural deficits in the inpatient group relative to more minor outpatient injury MTBI and the reference control group. For the inpatient group, there was evidence of increasing deficits over years 7-13. The researchers concluded that more severe pre-school MTBI may be associated with persistent negative effects in terms of psychosocial development. The vulnerability of pre-school children to MTBI indicates a pressing need to identify high-risk cases that may benefit from monitoring and early intervention.