Rehabilitation Outcomes in Children with Brain Injury


Nursing Department, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115.


A pediatric rehabilitation facility has been treating children with head trauma for many years. Through direct observation it was concluded that early stage intensive therapy favorably influenced outcome. A comprehensive data collection instrument was retrospectively employed to compare and contrast outcomes of 160 children with a diagnosis of head trauma. The average age was 12.7, and there were twice as many boys as girls. Seventy-five percent of the injuries resulted from vehicular accidents. Sixty-nine percent of the children sustained both head and associated injuries. Of those requiring rehabilitation, 48 percent showed good recovery and 24 percent had moderate disability. Of the 68 percent comatose on admission, only 16 percent remained in a persistent vegetative state at discharge. This study not only encourages transfer of children to rehabilitation as early as possible to improve functional outcomes but also emphasizes the need to develop outcome criteria that will be more specific.