Family burden and parental distress following mild traumatic brain injury in children and its relationship to post-concussive symptoms

Kalaichelvi Ganesalingam*, Keith Owen Yeates, Melissa Susan Ginn, H. Gerry Taylor, Ann Dietrich, Kathy Nuss, Martha Wright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective: To examine the relationship of mild traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-concussive symptoms (PCS) to post injury family burden and parental distress, using data from a prospective, longitudinal study. Methods: Participants included 71 children with mild TBI with loss of consciousness (LOC), 110 with mild TBI without LOC, and 97 controls with orthopedic injuries not involving the head (OI), and their parents. Shortly after injury, parents and children completed a PCS interview and questionnaire, and parents rated premorbid family functioning. Parents also rated family burden and parental distress shortly after injury and at 3 months post injury. Results: Mild TBI with LOC was associated with greater family burden at 3 months than OI, independent of socioeconomic status and premorbid family functioning. Higher PCS shortly after injury was related to higher ratings of family burden and distress at 3 months. Conclusions: Mild TBI are associated with family burden and distress more than mild injuries not involving the head, although PCS may influence post injury family burden and distress more than the injury per se. Clinical implications of the current findings are noted in the Discussion section.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-629
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Children
  • Family burden
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Parental distress
  • Post-concussive symptoms

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