MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Juliet Haarbauer-Krupa, PhD
Senior Health Scientist
Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
- Traumatic brain injury in children results in a large number of emergency department visits each year and can result in long term difficulties
- The purpose of this study was to estimate lifetime prevalence of TBI in children based on a nationally representative sample of U.S. parents/adults and to describe the association between TBI and other childhood health conditions.
- CDC researchers examined the National Survey of Children’s Health, a cross-sectional telephone survey of U.S. households, to provide a national estimate of TBI in children.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
- The lifetime estimate of parent-reported traumatic brain injury among children was 2.5% (CI: 2.3-2.7), representing over 1.8 million children nationally.
- Age -adjusted prevalence estimates were computed for each state.
- Children with a lifetime history of TBI were more likely to have a variety of health conditions compared to those without a history of TBI.
- States with a higher number of childhood TBI were more likely to have a higher proportion of children with private health insurance and higher parent report of adequate insurance. This could result in a greater likelihood of seeking healthcare after TBI, which may lead to higher estimates of diagnosed TBIs. This may indicate that some childhood TBIs go untreated for lack of health insurance.
- A large number of U.S. children have experienced a TBI during childhood. It is important for providers to be aware of the increased risk of associated health conditions among children with TBI for more comprehensive monitoring.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
- A large number of U.S. children have experienced a TBI during childhood. It is important for providers to be aware of the increased risk of associated health conditions among children with TBI for more comprehensive monitoring
- Although this estimate likely does not capture children who did not seek care for their TBI, unlike previous national estimates it likely includes TBIs treated in settings other than the emergency department.
- Children with a lifetime history TBI are more likely to have other childhood health and developmental conditions that can impact their health, including learning disorders, speech and language problems, developmental delay, anxiety, depression and behavior problems
- These findings support further inquiries about a child’s TBI and overall health history by healthcare providers to ensure optimal recovery and outcomes after childhood TBI.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
- Expanding data sources is needed to provide a more comprehensive estimate of children who experience a traumatic brain injury who do not or cannot seek treatment. A proposed system, the National Concussion Surveillance System (https://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/ncss/index.html), holds the potential for obtaining more comprehensive prevalence estimates of TBI in children.
- Studies examining children over time are needed to better understand the impact of a childhood brain injury on adult outcomes such as educational and employment achievement. For further information , please see the Report to Congress on the Management of TBI in Children at www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pubs/congress-childrentbi.html
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: Healthcare providers, parents, and others can learn more about TBI (commonly called concussion), including signs and symptoms and how to safely return to school and sports at CDC HEADS UP website.
Haarbauer-Krupa J, Lee AH, Bitsko RH, Zhang X, Kresnow-Sedacca M. Prevalence of Parent-Reported Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Associated Health Conditions. JAMA Pediatr. Published online September 24, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.2740
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