Long-term Participation and Functional Status in Children Who Experience Traumatic Brain Injury

header divider

Posted on November 6, 2023 by childrenslearninginstitute


November 6, 2023


Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation

CLI Author:

Linda Ewing-Cobbs, PhD


Objective: To evaluate the effect of child and family factors on children’s participation outcomes 2 to 3 years following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Setting: Two level 1 pediatric trauma centers.

Participants: Children aged 0 to 15 years with TBI at all severity levels or an orthopedic injury.

Design: Prospective cohort.

Main Measures: Caregivers completed the Child and Adolescent Scale of Participation (CASP) at 2- and 3-year follow-ups. The CASP was categorized as more than 90 or 90 or less on a 100-point scale, with 90 or less representing the 10th percentile and below in this sample. Modified Poisson regression models were used to describe relative risk of the CASP at 90 or less at 2 to 3 years postinjury, adjusting for preinjury family environment variables and injury group. A secondary analysis only included children who were 31 months or older at injury (n = 441) to determine whether changes in functional outcome (Pediatric Injury Functional Outcome Scale, PIFOS) and executive functions (Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, BRIEF) from preinjury to 1 year after injury predicted CASP scores at the 2- or 3-year follow-up.

Results: Seventy-eight percent (596/769) of children who had a completed preinjury survey had a completed CASP. In the adjusted model, children with severe TBI had a nearly 3 times higher risk (RR = 2.90; 95% CI, 1.43-5.87) of reduced participation than children with an orthopedic injury. In the secondary analysis, lower functional skills (5-point increase in 1-year postinjury PIFOS score) (RR = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.18-1.57) and less favorable family function (RR = 1.46; 95% CI, 1.02-2.10) were associated with reduced participation in both girls and boys.

Conclusion: Participation in home, school, and community activities after TBI is related to multiple biopsychosocial factors. Participation-focused interventions are needed to reduce barriers to involvement and assist children and families to close the participation gap across settings.


Ewing-Cobbs, Linda PhD; Clark, Amy MS; Keenan, Heather PhD, MDCM. Long-term Participation and Functional Status in Children Who Experience Traumatic Brain Injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation ():10.1097/HTR.0000000000000917, November 06, 2023.