Psychosocial Education for the Paediatric Burns MDT

Dr Lisa Martin1

1Burn Injury Research Unit, University of WA,, Crawley, Australia, 2Burns Unit, Perth Children’s Hospital, Nedands, Australia


Burn injury survival is associated with long-term psychosocial, as well as physical, consequences (1). Psychological difficulties following a burn include feelings of guilt, blame and shame, intrusive thoughts and flashbacks, self-consciousness, sadness and anger (2).  In addition, burn patients might grapple with social consequences of visible scarring that affects their interactions with family, friends and the community (5). Parents of paediatric patients are also impacted by the event (8). Psychological consequences of burn injury are an important target for improvement interventions for both patients and families.

A staff education program from the UK was adapted for use in Australia.  This program was then modified for online delivery, and made available for health care staff.  A pilot group of multidisciplinary staff undertook, tested and evaluated the program for content, acceptability and usefulness. Pre and post-tests assessed learning outcomes.

This study is in progress and the program evaluation and learning outcome assessment results will be discussed at the time of presentation.


  1. Pallua N, Künsebeck H, Noah E. Psychosocial adjustments 5 years after burn injury. Burns. 2003;29:143-52.
  2. Attoe C, Pounds-Cornish E. Psycholosocial adjustment following burns: An integrative literature review. Burns. 2015;41(7):1375-84.
  3. Martin L, Byrnes M, McGarry S, Rea S, Wood F. Social challenges of visible scarring after severe burn: A qualitative analysis. Burns. 2017;43(1):76-83.
  4. McGarry S, Girdler S, McDonald A, Valentine J, Wood F, Elliott C. Paediatric medical trauma: The impact on parents of burn survivors. Burns. 2013;39(6):1114-21.


I am a registered nurse and researcher and have worked in burn care and research since 2009. I have recently completed doctoral research in psychological recovery after burn, in particular postburn growth and coping.

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