Recovery from Pediatric Brain Injury: A Preliminary Comparison of Longitudinal Data on Psychological Symptomology and Mental Health Treatment

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Kimberly Gorgens

Second Advisor

Jeanne Dise-Lewis

Third Advisor

John McNeill


Brain injury, Quantitative research, Adolescents, Children, Unmet psychological needs, Psychological symptomology, Mental health treatment, Pediatric


Objective: To document the course of psychological symptomology, mental health treatment, and unmet psychological needs using caregiver reports in the first 18 months following pediatric brain injury (BI). Method: Participants included 28 children (aged 1-18 years) who were hospitalized at a children's hospital's rehabilitation unit. Caregiver reports of children's psychological symptoms, receipt of mental health treatment, and unmet psychological needs were assessed at one month, six months, 12 months, and 18 months post-BI. Results: Caregivers reported a general increase in psychological symptoms and receipt of mental health treatment over the 18 months following BI; however, there was a substantial gap between the high rate of reported symptoms and low rate of reported treatment. Across all four follow-up time points there were substantial unmet psychological needs (at least 60% of sample). Conclusions: Findings suggest that there are substantial unmet psychological needs among children during the first 18 months after BI. Barriers to mental health treatment for this population need to be addressed.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


35 pages

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