Transitions experienced by children and their families after acquired brain injury

What are the factors that influence transitions to home, school and community / recreational activities for the school-aged child with an acquired brain injury (ABI)? 

The main objectives of this longitudinal study are:

  • to identify children at risk for difficult transitions and determine the conditions and factors that put them most at risk;
  • to describe the stages and processes of transition for children with an ABI;
  • to determine the needs of the children and their families at each stage of transition;
  • to examine the evidence and disseminate the information to families, service providers, as well as policy and program developers.

Despite improvements in the delivery of trauma care, ABI persists as the leading cause of death and long-term disability in children. An ABI can bring about physical cognitive, behavioural, medical, social and economic changes to which children and their families must adapt. The importance of programs designed to promote successful transition and reintegration of children with ABI into their home, school and community has been emphasised by some authors. However there is little evidence to determine which children will be more vulnerable at times of transition to home, school and community and what constitutes effective services for families and children at these times.

Children, adolescents and their families will be assessed longitudinally following discharge from hospital. Participants will be recruited from among all children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18 years who are admitted to the Children's Hospital at the Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation with a diagnosis of ABI, over a 24-month recruitment period. 

Research Team


  • will allow service providers to understand the dynamics involved in the process of transition, which will allow them to provide appropriate support and services in a timely and family centred manner
  • new knowledge may ultimately help to prevent social and reintegration difficulties of the children and their families
  • answers to the above questions has the potential to maximize the child's recovery and development post-ABI

Funding Agency

Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (2001-2004)