Traumatic brain injury (TBI) across it’s severity range from mild to severe, is associated with a number of symptoms in the acute period that include headaches, confusion, dizziness, and difficulties with concentration and memory.
Nevertheless, once the medical emergency and acute treatment or observation period is over, children are commonly returned to their pre-injury activities with little follow-up, especially for the less severe or where co morbid injury is not present and where ongoing medical intervention is not required. However, childhood is characterised by developmental change, and deficits that may emerge many months or years post injury are frequently overlooked. Further, knowledge about the long-term consequences of TBI in childhood, or the factors that influence outcomes, both in childhood and into adulthood, has only recently begun to emerge.
Perhaps the most well examined childhood TBI outcome has been behavioural deficits. Children with TBI have been reported as having increased evidence of disruptive behaviours including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder. However, other potential outcomes such as anxiety and depression have been less well researched, including any differences between the sexes. Further, information about how a childhood TBI influences adult functioning is still sparse.
This symposium will review and present recent research regarding what is known about long term outcomes following childhood TBI, examining a range of outcomes that may emerge over time, and how a childhood TBI affects functioning during adolescence and adulthood.