Brain Injury Outcomes New Zealand In the Community – Adolescent and Later childhood outcomes (BIONICAL)


The effects of brain injury are vast and disabling and the full impact of injury is often not observed until several years later. Yet the full scope of the long term difficulties people may experience (particularly after mild brain injury) and how multiple injuries affect recovery is unknown.

This study aims to characterise the long term effects of brain injury during childhood by following up an existing New Zealand cohort of children (<16 years) at six years post injury. Children assessed as having a brain injury in a previous study and who were followed up for one year, will be invited to be assessed six years later to measure any long term effects on their cognitive functioning, emotional wellbeing and ability to participate in everyday activities. We will also find out whether children experienced any additional brain injuries.

Key research questions include: 1) How does children’s development proceed over time following TBI?; 2) Are there any differences in behavior, emotion, participation and social function in children at 6-years post-TBI compared to age-matched TBI-free peers?; and 3) What factors are associated with good and poor child recovery at 6-years post-TBI?

By identifying who is at highest risk of recurrent injury and determining what facilitates or hinders recovery, we can identify the best ways to prevent injury, optimise treatment and maximise long term outcomes.



  • Dr Kelly Jones

Co-investigators include:

  • Professor Valery Feigin (AUT University)
  • Professor Nicola Starkey (University of Waikato)
  • Associate Professor Alice Theadom (AUT University)
  • Dr Priya Parmar (AUT University)

Funded by:

  • Waikato Medical Research Foundation
  • Co-funding by University of Waikato, courtesy of Professor Nicola Starkey