Efficacy of cognitive behavioural therapy for children and adolescents with traumatic brain injury

Valentina Pastore, Katia Colombo, Mariarosaria Liscio, Susanna Galbiati, Anna Adduci, Federica Villa, Sandra Strazzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Behavioural and psychological disorders after traumatic brain injury (TBI) are very common. The purposes of this study were to estimate the frequency of these problems in our sample, to evaluate the effectiveness of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and to assess the predictive value of important clinical variables for the treatment outcome. Method. Forty patients aged 4-18 years were included in this study. Twenty-eight patients received CBT at our Institute (clinical group), while 12 patients did not receive any treatment at all (control group). The CBCL/4-18 and the VABS were administered to parents at the beginning of the study and after 12 months. Results. A high frequency of psychological and behavioural problems was found in both groups of patients. After CBT, the clinical group showed a significant advantage on several CBCL scales and a greater increase in adaptive behaviour on the VABS Socialisation domain. The Glasgow Coma Scale score, days of unconsciousness and age at injury were not predictors of the severity of psychological problems at the follow-up for the patients of the clinical group. Conclusions. Our results suggest that CBT is an effective intervention for young patients with psychological problems after TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-683
Number of pages9
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • cognitive behavioural therapy
  • psychological intervention
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation


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