University of Pittsburgh

NIH funds new EDC Traumatic Brian Injury Study Assessing the Risk of Disruptive Behavioral Disorders

Apr 11, 2017

As part of the Approaches and Decisions in Acute Pediatric TBI Trial (ADAPT), CIRCA Director Anthony Fabio will assess the incidence of disruptive behavioral disorders (DBD) after severe TBI.

The aims of the study are to: 1) Describe the epidemiology of DBD following TBI, and 2) Determine the relationship between family functioning and neighborhood factors on risk for DBD of children following TBI. Despite preventative measures, traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains the leading cause of death and disability in children. Major questions exist regarding the impact of post-injury disruptive behavioral disorders (DBD), which include attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD). Recent evidence suggests that family and neighborhood context play an important role in recovery after TBI; however, this process is poorly understood. Studies have found an association between family functioning and outcomes following TBI but have not completely explained the relationship or determined if impaired family functioning precedes poor TBI outcomes. Neighborhood contexts are hypothesized to affect social conditions and opportunities, affecting recovery. Conversely, neighborhood concentration of poverty is negatively associated with health, including behavioral related sequelae such as ODD and CD. The study is expected to provide an exploration of the contexts in which injuries take place in order to develop a more sophisticated, comprehensive framework to address the needs of children who have survived TBI.