Twenty percent of New Zealand children will be affected by Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by age 14. TBI is the most frequent cause of death and disability for this age group. Ongoing behavioural problems are common, particularly for the more severely injured, leading to conduct disorder, alcohol and substance abuse, and increased youth offending. These behaviours have serious cost implications for families, health care and education systems.
Previous research has demonstrated that information provided at the time of injury reduces parents fears and subsequent reports of ongoing behavioural problems. Therefore, early parent training regarding effective behavioural and coping strategies could significantly reduce adverse outcomes for children who experience moderate-severe TBI, both acutely and in the long-term. The overall aim of the of the study is twofold:
1. to identify the characteristics of children who are more likely to experience a TBI and
2. to develop intervention strategies to ameliorate the adverse effects of early childhood traumatic brain injury by providing early behavioural interventions and coping strategies.