The Use of Methylphenidate During Inpatient Rehabilitation After Pediatric Traumatic Brain Injury: Population Characteristics and Prescribing Patterns.

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DOI: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000889


OBJECTIVE: To understand how methylphenidate (MPH) is used in youth with traumatic brain injury (TBI) during inpatient pediatric rehabilitation.

SETTING: Inpatient pediatric rehabilitation.

PARTICIPANTS: In total, 234 children with TBI; 62 of whom received MPH and 172 who did not. Patients were on average 11.6 years of age (range, 2 months to 21 years); 88 of 234 were female; the most common mechanism of injury was motor vehicle collision (49%); median (IQR) acute hospital length of stay (LOS) and inpatient rehabilitation LOS were 16 (10-29) and 23 (14-39), respectively; 51 of 234 were in a disorder of consciousness cognitive state at time of inpatient rehabilitation admission.

DESIGN: Multicenter, retrospective medical record review.

MAIN MEASURES: Patient demographic data, time to inpatient pediatric rehabilitation admission (TTA), cognitive state, MPH dosing (mg/kg/day).

RESULTS: Patients who received MPH were older (P = .011); TTA was significantly longer in patients who received MPH than those who did not (P =.002). The lowest recorded dose range by weight was 0.05 to 0.89 mg/kg/d, representing an 18-fold difference; the weight-based range for the maximum dose was 0.11 to 0.97 mg/kg/d, a 9-fold difference. Patients in lower cognitive states at admission (P = .001) and at discharge (P = .030) were more likely to receive MPH. Five patients had side effects known to be associated with MPH; no serious adverse events were reported.

CONCLUSION: This multicenter study indicates that there is variable use of MPH during acute inpatient rehabilitation for children with TBI. Children who receive MPH tend to be older with lower cognitive states. Dosing practices are likely consistent with underdosing. Clinical indications for MPH use during inpatient pediatric rehabilitation should be better defined. The use of MPH, as well as its combination with other medications and treatments, during inpatient rehabilitation needs to be further explored.

Journal Title

The Journal of head trauma rehabilitation





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MeSH Keywords

Humans; Methylphenidate; Child; Female; Brain Injuries, Traumatic; Male; Adolescent; Child, Preschool; Retrospective Studies; Central Nervous System Stimulants; Infant; Practice Patterns, Physicians'; Young Adult; Inpatients; Length of Stay; Rehabilitation Centers


Methylphenidate; Traumatic Brain Injuries; Retrospective Studies; Central Nervous System Stimulants; Physicians' Practice Patterns; Inpatients; Length of Stay; Rehabilitation Centers

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