Exploration of the psycho-social impact of burn injuries on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

Ms Hayley Williams1,2, Dr Bronwyn Griffin1,3, Dr Kate Hunter4, Professor Kathleen Clapham5, Professor Rebecca Ivers4, Professor  Roy Kimble1,2

1Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane, Australia, 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 3School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 4The George Institute of Global Health, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, 5University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

Abstract:

Background: Pain from burn injuries and their treatment can be highly distressing for children and adolescents. While Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children reportedly have more than twice the rate of burn injuries than non-Indigenous children, little is known of the psychological impact of burns on these children and their families. To date there is also limited availability of psycho-social interventions designed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with burn injuries and their caregivers. This study uses Indigenous research methodologies to explore the impact of burn injuries on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and their families.

Methods: Participants are caregivers of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander children aged <16 years accessing burns care at an Australian tertiary burns service. One-on-one yarning sessions incorporating Dadirri deep listening are being carried out to allow caregivers to share their experiences of their child’s burns care and its impact on their family. Grounded theory approaches will be used to explore the psychological and social impact of burn injuries on the injured children and their families.

Results: Data collection and analysis has commenced, and emerging categories will be presented.

Discussion: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children with burn injuries and their families have ongoing support needs that require additional attention. Following these results, caregivers will be invited to take part in yarning circles with other caregivers to form support networks and discuss strategies that will inform the development of resources/interventions to meet their psycho-social support needs and priorities.


Biography:

Hayley Williams is an Aboriginal researcher with family ties in Tingha and Inverell in north-eastern NSW. Hayley has a Bachelor of Social Science and Postgraduate Diploma in Psychology, and is currently completing a Doctor of Philosophy exploring the psycho-social impact of burn injuries on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and the cultural safety of burns care. Hayley is passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and has a particular interest in emotional traumas and the resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adolescents.