Risk of mild head injury in preschool children: relationship to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder symptoms
To investigate whether there is an association between mild head injury (MHI) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in preschool children.
The study included a patient group of 30 children aged 3–6 years with mild head trauma and a control group of 30 healthy and age- and sex-matched children. The symptoms of ADHD were evaluated using the Conners’ Parent Rating Scale-Revised Long (CPRS-RL) form.
The mean age was 4.73 ± 1.13 years in the patient group and 4.65 ± 0.99 years in the control group. No significant differences were determined between the groups in terms of age, gender, parents’ age and education (p > 0.05). The total subscale points as reported by the parents of the children with MHI were significantly higher than those for the control group in terms of the following subscales: oppositional, cognitive problems/inattention, hyperactivity, social problems, ADHD index, Conners’ Global Index (CGI)-Irritability-Impulsiveness, CGI-Emotional Lability, CGI-Total and DSM-IV ADHD symptoms (p < 0.05). A history of previous trauma treated in emergency services was determined in eight of the 30 patients (26.7%).
The findings of this study suggest that preschool children with MHI have more pre-injury ADHD symptoms and oppositional and emotional-behavioural symptoms than healthy children without trauma. Clinicians should screen children with MHI for ADHD symptoms and refer them for treatment when necessary. Evaluation of children presenting with MHI by a child psychiatrist may prevent repetition of injuries.
KeywordsMild head injury Preschool children Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder Emotional and behavioural symptoms
The authors wish to thank the patients and families who participated in this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Written informed consent was obtained from the parents of all the participants. The study protocol was reviewed and approved by the Ethics Committee of Kahramanmaras Sutcu Imam University’s Faculty of Medicine.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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