Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) put children and adolescents at risk for short and long-term health risks. The purpose of this study was to evaluate sex differences in post-acute outcomes among children and adolescents presenting to the Emergency Department (ED) for mTBI. The study is a secondary analysis of a de-identified dataset which was drawn from a concurrent cohort, prospective, and longitudinal study design that included 8 to 16 year-old children with mTBI and a comparison group of children with mild orthopedic injuries (OI) not involving the head. Participants were recruited and completed an initial assessment during their initial visit to the ED. They returned for a post-acute assessment within two weeks of injury. Outcomes of interest included parent and child ratings of somatic and cognitive symptoms, and standardized tests of neurocognitive functioning and balance. Girls reported a significantly larger increase in somatic symptoms post-mTBI than boys, using OI as a comparison group. In contrast, no significant sex differences were found for child ratings of cognitive symptoms, parent ratings of somatic or cognitive symptoms, neurocognitive functioning, or balance. The results suggest only limited sex differences in post-acute outcomes of mTBI in a pediatric ED population. The findings have potential implications for clinical and public health which include being used to guide implementation of policies related to pediatric injury prevention. Future research is needed to examine how rule and equipment changes can improve the sex differences found in somatic symptoms after mTBI.

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ILEPoster_TYeatesFinal.pdf (248 kB)

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