World Mental Healthcare Association

Kids Develop Mental Health Issues After A Concussion: Study

Kids Develop Mental Health Issues After A Concussion news
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Mental Health News – A new study stated that a third of kids and adolescents can experience mental health problems after a concussion, which can persist for several years post-injury.

Researchers at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) reviewed 69 articles published between 1980 to June 2020 including 90,000 children and youths aged between 0-18 years. The kids and adolescents were from nine countries and experienced a brain injury due to falls, sports activities, or car accidents.

According to the study findings, 36.7% of participants experienced severe internalizing problems after a concussion, including withdrawal, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, while 20% suffered from externalizing issues, such as hyperactivity, aggression, and attention problems compared to healthy ones and those who sustained injuries like arm fracture.

The research result showed that pre-existing mental health problems acted as strong predictors of post-concussion psychological issues. It suggested that 29% of participants with a pre-injury mental health diagnosis got a new diagnosis after experiencing a concussion, while 26% of them with a prior psychological issue developed related symptoms.

“Despite the high incidence of concussion among children and adolescents, identifying those at risk of ongoing difficulties after concussion remains a prominent challenge for clinicians,” said MCRI researcher Alice Gornall.

While significant mental health improvements were observed in children within three to six months post-concussion, a minority experienced persisting symptoms after several years, Gornell explained. According to him, concussion is a growing public health concern as one-third of kids are more likely to experience a traumatic brain injury before 13.

Another research led by MCRI discovered that children who experience a concussion during early childhood tend to have lower IQ persisting up to seven years post-injury.

To help kids overcome post-concussion symptoms, Gornell and his colleagues are now working on the intervention, Concussion Essentials that includes physiotherapy and psychology treatments.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Gornall, A., Takagi, M., Morawakage, T., Liu, X., & Anderson, V. (2021). Mental health after paediatric concussion: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine, 55(18), 1048–1058. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2020-103548

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