During childhood, the central nervous system is in a state of rapid development which can be interrupted by a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This study aimed to describe if and how TBI during childhood influences health and life situation, 5-8 years later.
A case-control retrospective design was employed for the assessment of 61 adolescents and young adults with a mild, moderate or severe TBI and 229 matched controls from a normative group (16-24 years).
SF-36 (Short Form 36 health survey) and a self-reported questionnaire measuring life situation were distributed to youths suffering TBI 5-8 years ago. Forty-five youths (74%) completed the questionnaires.
Participants with a TBI stated lower self-estimated health compared with the normative group. Remaining self-reported symptoms were physical and cognitive. Negative effects of TBI influencing school results, leisure activities and thoughts about future life situation were also described.
Young individuals experience sustained negative effects of childhood TBI on health and life situation. More research is necessary to detect, understand and properly support these youths.