Update on the validation of PAT Burns (a psychosocial screening tool for paediatric burns patients

Miss Miriam Broadhurst1

1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia


There is currently limited information on optimal methods of screening and identifying children and their families at risk of poor adjustment following paediatric burn injury.  At ANZBA 2015, the Burns Service, WCH presented the modified version of a psychosocial screening tool (PAT) for use in an Australian context with burns paediatric patients. We update our work on the validation of the PAT Burns and present preliminary data.


Families and children admitted to the service are assessed within two weeks (T1) and at 3-month follow-up (T2). Assessments include the PAT Burns and other standardised measures of child and parent functioning (i.e., posttraumatic stress, depression, anxiety, family functioning). Children aged 7 or older complete self-report measures in addition to their caregivers.


To date, 17 families have been recruited. Preliminary analysis of the PAT Burns indicates 36% of families fall in the clinical range indicating higher risk of psychosocial maladjustment. Despite modest sample size, correlational data show that increased risk as measured by the PAT Burns is associated with parental anxiety and stress (rs = .60-.66) and higher risk on the PAT Burns corresponds to child posttraumatic stress and unhelpful trauma beliefs (rs  = .23-.39), mood, anxiety problems and behaviour problems (rs = .23-.89).


Although data is preliminary, the PAT Burns appears to measure the key areas that appear to be predictors for maladjustment. Practical issues and challenges in relation to feasibility of screening and implementation in routine clinical practice will be addressed, and follow-up data available by October.

Second year Masters student at Flinders University working in conjunction with the WCH and Flinders University Staff to validate a screening tool for use in the Burns Unit.

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