Investigating health professionals’ attitudes towards active treatment of the patient with a major burn injury following self–immolation

Tracey Perrett1, Deborah Murray2,

1 Counties Manukau Health, Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 93311, Otahuhu, Auckland 1642,
2 Counties Manukau Health, Middlemore Hospital, Private Bag 93311, Otahuhu, Auckland 1642,

Every year our burn centre treats a number of patients who have sustained a major burn injury (defined as >30% total body surface area) as a result of self-immolation. For a variety of reasons these patients can present a number of challenges to health professionals involved in their care. A literature search was undertaken and no studies where found that examined the attitudes of health professionals towards the active treatment of patients who self-immolate.

The aim of our study was to investigate the attitudes of health professionals from a number of different disciplines involved in the care of patients who had sustained a major burn injury from self-immolation.

A questionnaire was developed and subsequently disseminated to health care professionals working in burn care across Australia and New Zealand.  Questionnaires were distributed electronically via the ANZBA membership data base as well as to the ICU, NBC allied health, nursing and medical teams. Hard copies were also disseminated to delegates at the Australia New Zealand Burn Association Annual Scientific meeting.  Respondents were from a wide range of professional groups and encompassed those involved in adults and paediatrics.

We will present the outcomes from this survey and recommendations for further studies. We anticipate that this will be the beginning of a series of studies that will include examining the long term outcomes for this group of patients as well as the patient’s perceptions of their care.

Key Words

Health professionals attitudes, self-immolation


Tracey involved in burn care for the last 15 years in various capacities. Her current role is National Burn Service Coordinator at the National Burn Centre, Auckland NZ.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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