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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1997 Nov;36(11):1595-601.

Traumatic brain injury in a child psychiatry inpatient population: a controlled study.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Iowa, Iowa City 52242, USA.



To extend our findings from child psychiatry outpatients to child psychiatry inpatients regarding the similarity of children with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI), particularly mild TBI, to matched children without such a history.


This is a chart review of patients consecutively admitted to a child psychiatry inpatient unit over a 5-year period. Children with TBI were matched by age, sex, race, and social class to children with no history of TBI. Axis I and II diagnoses and diagnostic clusters and use of special education services and IQ scores were compared.


Fifty-six (8.1%) of 694 consecutive patients admitted had a definite TBI. Not one of more than 50 variables compared between TBI and control subjects was significantly different.


In a child psychiatry inpatient unit, patients with a history of TBI were virtually indistinguishable from matched children without TBI. Caution should be exercised before attributing the child's problems, especially long-term problems, to the TBI unless the injury was severe or the child is exhibiting related phobic or posttraumatic stress symptomatology.

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