Objective To assess the proportion of pediatric patients who develop post-traumatic
stress disorder (PTSD) attributed to traumatic brain injury (TBI). Methods PubMed
and Embase were searched from database inception until January 26, 2019. Two independent
investigators screened titles, abstracts, and subsequently, full-text articles. Following
this, the same investigators also extracted data relevant for the scope of this review.
Results Ten articles were included in this review. In these, six unique cohorts were
described, with relative frequencies of PTSD attributed TBI ranging from 3.3% to 48.5%.
Two studies also found that PTSD was more common in children after TBI compared to
pediatric orthopedic controls. Study quality was determined as high or very high for
all six included cohorts, although the studies differed considerably in terms of methodology.
Conclusions Methodological variations confound comparisons of relative frequency assessments
of PTSD attributed to TBI. However, PTSD is associated with considerable long-term
disability and undetected PTSD in children should raise public concern. Thus, large
scale, prospective studies are needed to ascertain the clinical course of PTSD attributed
to TBI in children and adolescence.