Researchers from IRCCS Eugenio Medea in Lecco, Italy, evaluated the effectiveness of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for children and adolescents with psychological impacts from Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). In addition, they assessed the predictive value of certain clinical variables on treatment outcome.

Forty children, aged 4 to18, were included in the study. Twenty-eight patients received CBT at the Institute, while 12 patients did not receive any treatment at all and were counted as controls. Measuring instruments included the CBCL/4-18 and the VABS, and were administered to parents at the beginning of the study and after 12 months.

The study found a high incidence of psychological and behavioral problems in both groups of patients. After CBT, the clinical group showed a significant advantage on several CBCL scales and a greater increase in adaptive behavior on the VABS Socialization domain.

It is important to note that the Glasgow Coma Scale score, days of unconsciousness and age at injury were not predictors of the severity of psychological problems at follow-up for the patients in the experimental group.

These results, admittedly from a loosely structured pilot, suggest that CBT may be an effective intervention for young patients with psychological problems after TBI.

Citation:  Pastore V, Colombo K, Liscio M, Galbiati S, Adduci A, Villa F, Strazzer S. Efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy for children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury. Disability and Rehabilitation. 2011;33 (8): pages 675-83. Epub 2010 Aug 9. [email protected]