Background: Children with brain injuries face significant challenges in their recovery. One of the greatest is transitioning from hospital/home to school where they face issues such as reintegration, lack of understanding and catching up with missed work. Many children struggle with their altered circumstances and require additional supports to meet the academic demands of systems which are ill equipped to teach them. Objective: To summarise the best available evidence for the use of educational interventions to improve academic attainment in childhood survivors of acquired brain injury (ABI). Methods: Six electronic databases (Cinahl, Embase, Medline, PsycINFO, Pubmed, & Web of Science) were systematically searched for randomised controlled trials published between 1980 and 2015. Two authors independently reviewed these studies and extracted data on type of intervention, characteristics of participants, outcome measures, findings and recommendations. The Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias tool was used to assess systematic error in the included studies. Results: Four studies met the inclusion criteria (n = 296 children and adolescents). Three studies (n = 287) were included in meta-analysis for the primary outcome which showed no statistically significant difference between the intervention and control conditions on academic attainment (SMD 1.31, 95% CI -0.06 to 2.68, p = 0.06). No statistically significant differences were found which favoured the intervention for the secondary outcomes of attention, internalising or externalising behavior. All effect sizes were considered as small. Conclusions: This review suggests that no currently effective educational interventions exist for children with ABI. Greater efforts are required to produce effective and rigorously tested interventions to improve outcomes for these children.
Linden, M., Glang, A., & McKinlay, A. (2018). A systematic review and meta-analysis of educational interventions for children and adolescents with acquired brain injury. NeuroRehabilitation, 42(3), 311-323. https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-172357