ABI Trajectories

Trajectories and Consequences: Long-term follow-up of children and youth and their families after acquired brain injury (ABI Trajectories Study)

Acquired brain injury (ABI) is one of the leading causes of death and long-term disability among children. The consequences of ABI include physical, cognitive, behavioural, medical, social, and economic outcomes. Recovery from childhood ABI varies a great deal among children. Existing research on the prognosis for childhood ABI generally fails to identify children early in the course of recovery, and also fails to follow-up with all children across the spectrum of injury severity. As a result, little is known about the medium and long-term consequences of ABI among children. This is particularly true for children with mild to moderate ABI who may show clinically important difficulties in the future, in spite of apparently early and complete recovery in the months immediately following injury.

This present study builds on a completed project which followed children/youth who were admitted to McMaster Children's Hospital with a diagnosis of ABI over a period of up to 24 months. The present study continues to follow the same group of children, youth, and their families for another 3-4 years to explore the long-term effects of ABI.

The main objectives of the study are:

to establish recovery trajectories spanning 5 to 7 years for key functional, psychosocial, and academic outcomes, for children with mild, moderate, and severe ABI;

to investigate the extent of neuropsychological impairments which persist at 5 years following ABI; and

to investigate how severity of injury and other key clinical variables predict long-term outcomes for children with ABI.