Early attention impairment and recovery profiles after childhood traumatic brain injury

Anderson, Vicki, Eren, Senem, Dob, Rian, Le Brocque, Robyne, Iselin, Gregory, Davern, Timothy J., McKinlay, Lynne and Kenardy, Justin (2012) Early attention impairment and recovery profiles after childhood traumatic brain injury. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation, 27 3: 199-209. doi:10.1097/HTR.0b013e31821a9d2b

Author Anderson, Vicki
Eren, Senem
Dob, Rian
Le Brocque, Robyne
Iselin, Gregory
Davern, Timothy J.
McKinlay, Lynne
Kenardy, Justin
Title Early attention impairment and recovery profiles after childhood traumatic brain injury
Journal name Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0885-9701
Publication date 2012-05
Year available 2011
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1097/HTR.0b013e31821a9d2b
Volume 27
Issue 3
Start page 199
End page 209
Total pages 11
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To examine recovery of attention from 3 to 6 months postinjury; to identify effects of injury severity and time since injury on performance; to explore whether complex attention skills (eg, shifting, divided attention, attentional control) are more vulnerable to traumatic brain injury (TBI), and slower to recover than simple attention skills (eg, attentional capacity, selective attention, sustained attention).


Prospective longitudinal investigation.

A total of 205 school-aged children with TBI were divided into groups according to injury severity (mild = 63%, moderate = 27%, severe = 10%).

Emergency departments of 3 metropolitan children’s hospitals across Australia.

Main Measures:
Standardized clinical measures of both simple and complex attention were administered at 3 months and 6 months postinjury.

Attention skills were vulnerable to the impact of TBI. More severe injury affected attention skills most negatively. Significant recovery was observed over time. There were few interaction effects, with severity groups exhibiting similar levels of recovery over the 6 months post-TBI. No differences in recovery trajectories were detected for simple and complex attention.


These findings have important clinical and educational implications, suggesting that children with TBI, and particularly those with more serious injuries, are most vulnerable to attention deficits in the acute stages postinjury. It is important that schools and families are aware of these limitations and structure expectations accordingly. For example, gradual return to school should be considered, and in the early stages of recovery, children should be provided with sufficient rest time, with reduced expectations for tasks such as homework.
Keyword Child
Traumatic brain injury
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 17 June 2011. This is a CONROD publication

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Medicine Publications
School of Psychology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Wed, 10 Aug 2011, 14:13:50 EST by Chesne McGrath on behalf of Medicine - Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital