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

Alison Crichton, Ed Oakley, Franz E. Babl, Mardee Greenham, Stephen Hearps, Carmel Delzoppo, Miriam H. Beauchamp, James S. Hutchison, Anne Marie Guerguerian, Kathy Boutis, Vicki Anderson

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15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: 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. Methods: 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. Results: 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. Conclusions: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-236
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes


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

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