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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2018 Mar;24(3):224-236. doi: 10.1017/S1355617717000893. Epub 2017 Oct 4.

Predicting Fatigue 12 Months after Child Traumatic Brain Injury: Child Factors and Postinjury Symptoms.

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1Murdoch Childrens Research Institute,Melbourne,Australia.
6Department of Psychology,University of Montreal,Montreal,Canada.
8The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids),Toronto,Ontario,Canada.



Fatigue is a common and persisting symptom after childhood brain injury. This study examined whether child characteristics and symptomatology preinjury or 6 months postinjury (pain, sleep, and mood, inattention) predicted fatigue at 12months postinjury.


Parents of 79 children (0-18 years) rated fatigue at 12 months after injury on a multidimensional scale (general, sleep/rest, and cognitive). Demographic and clinical data were collected at injury. Parents rated child sleep, pain, physical/motor function, mood, and inattention at injury (preinjury description), and 6 months postinjury. Children were divided into two traumatic brain injury severity groups: mild TBI (n=57) and moderate/severe TBI (n=27). Hierarchical regression models were used to examine (i) preinjury factors and (ii) symptoms 6 months postinjury predictive of fatigue (general, sleep/rest, and cognitive) at 12 months postinjury.


Sleep/rest fatigue was predicted by preinjury fatigue (7% of variance) and psychological symptoms preinjury (10% of variance). General fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (27%), sleep (10%) and mood symptoms (9%) 6 months postinjury. Sleep/rest fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (10%), sleep symptoms (13%) and mood symptoms (9%) 6 months postinjury. Cognitive fatigue was predicted by physical/motor symptoms (17%) 6 months postinjury.


Preinjury fatigue and psychological functioning identified those at greatest risk of fatigue 12 months post-TBI. Predictors of specific fatigue domains at 12 months differed across each of the domains, although consistently included physical/motor function as well as sleep and mood symptoms postinjury. (JINS, 2018, 24, 224-236).


Adolescent; Brain concussion; Children; Longitudinal studies; Mental fatigue; Muscle fatigue; Regression models


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