Katherine A. Skinner1, Deborah Murray2, Kathryn Russell3
1 National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 13 311 Otahuhu, Auckland 1640, New Zealand
2 National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 13 311 Otahuhu, Auckland 1640, New Zealand
3 National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 13 311 Otahuhu, Auckland 1640, New Zealand
People who sustain a burn injury typically come from a vulnerable sector of the population. They may have diagnosed or undiagnosed psychological conditions, or be affected by psychosocial stressors pre-injury. Post-injury adjustment to surgical and rehabilitative treatment is an additional stressor of variable duration. Psychological issues with onset pre- or post-injury are likely to impact rehabilitation and return to previous social and vocational functioning. To improve patient outcomes psychological issues require intervention. Psychological screening can identify issues that would not otherwise be disclosed, and target assessment and treatment within the service and in the community.
Until now patients who have been discharged from the National Burn Centre, Middlemore Hospital have not been routinely offered psychosocial screening. A psychosocial screening program for all patients who attend the National Burn Centre outpatient clinic aims to improve access to psychosocial supports including psychological assessment and treatment, and community alcohol and drug treatment. A brief psychosocial screen for patient anxiety, depression, PTSD, suicidality, alcohol, and substances was adapted from a previously validated instrument and administered during outpatient appointments. As well as being acceptable to patients, the instrument needed to be easy to administer and score for clinic staff. Preliminary patient data from an audit of the psychosocial screening program and team feedback on use of the instrument is presented.
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