An investigation of the prevalence of psychological morbidity in burn-injured patients
Tedstone, Josephine E.
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Research on the psychological impact of burn injuries has concentrated on major burns, while small burns have been largely neglected. In a prospective study, 45 patients with burn injuries ranging from 1 per cent or less up to 40 per cent total body surface area were assessed using semi-structured interviews within 2 weeks of sustaining the burn, and followed-up at approximately 3 months postburn to investigate the prevalence of mental health problems. The prevalence of clinically significant levels of anxiety, intrusions and avoidance remained similar at 2 weeks and 3 months postburn, however, the prevalence of depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) increased 6- and 4-times, respectively, by 3 months. Patients with small burn injuries of 1 per cent or less also experienced clinically significant levels of psychological difficulties postburn. The implications for the identification of patients at risk of future psychological morbidity are discussed.;