University of Calgary

Families make big difference for kids recovering from brain injuries

UToday HomeApril 8, 2013

By Laura Herperger

Keith Yeates, PhD, is director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.Keith Yeates, PhD, is director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.Dr. Keith Yeates helps kids who have been hurt in car crashes, bike accidents and athletic events. He has seen many kids with brain injuries. And he has learned one valuable lesson from them: Kids with family support get better faster.

Yeates, a guest speaker at the University of Calgary on April 16, is a leading U.S. expert on traumatic brain injury and recovery. He has spent over 20 years studying how families can make a big difference.

He has found that children with a traumatic brain injury recover and cope much better when parents and family members have effective managing skills, good social networks and are supported in the community with resources and education.

“These children are so much better off than those from families with no support, that they often are indistinguishable from any other child in their school and community,” says Yeates, director of the Division of Pediatric Psychology and Neuropsychology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and professor of pediatrics, psychology and psychiatry at Ohio State University College of Medicine.

The research from Ohio also shows that children with traumatic brain injury benefit from a supportive family even more than children with some other forms of physical injury.

“We don’t know exactly why these children do so much better, but this finding underscores the need for family-centred care,” he says.

“We are extremely pleased to have Dr. Yeates present this public talk,” says Dr. Brent Scott, executive director of the University of Calgary’s Alberta Children’s Hospital Research Institute (ACHRI) which is sponsoring the visit.

“ACHRI is supportive of research in family-centred care and Dr. Yeates’ work provides an excellent example of how it can be applied to improving care of children with brain injury.”

Yeates will speak on Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. at the Libin Theatre, Health Sciences Building. The presentation is a free public lecture.

 

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