Long-term executive function deficits in children with traumatic brain injuries: assessment using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF)

Shanley Mangeot, Kira Armstrong, Andrew N Colvin, Keith Owen Yeates, H Gerry Taylor
Child Neuropsychology: a Journal on Normal and Abnormal Development in Childhood and Adolescence 2002, 8 (4): 271-84
Long-term deficits in executive functions following childhood traumatic brain injuries (TBI) were examined using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF). Parents completed the BRIEF approximately 5 years postinjury as part of a prospective study of children injured between the ages of 6 and 12. The children were between 10 and 19 years of age at the time of the assessment, and included 33 with severe TBI, 31 with moderate TBI, and 34 with orthopedic injuries. Parents also rated children's adaptive functioning and completed several other measures of parent and family functioning. Children were administered a neuropsychological test battery that included several measures of executive functions. The groups displayed a significant linear trend in BRIEF scores, with the largest deficits in executive functions reported in children with severe TBI. BRIEF scores were related consistently across groups to a test of working memory, but not to other neuropsychological measures. BRIEF scores also predicted children's adaptive functioning and behavioral adjustment, as well as parent psychological distress, perceived family burden, and general family functioning. The findings indicate that TBI results in long-term deficits in executive functions that are related to children's psychosocial outcomes, as well as to parent and family functioning.

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