Is play based group therapy an effective intervention in paediatric burns rehabilitation?

Mrs Tamsin Mahoney1, Ms Jessica Shapland1, Dr Megan Simons1, Ms Nastassia De Aguiar2, Mrs Kate Sands1

1Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 2Australian Catholic University

The Pegg Leditscke Children’s Burns Centre (PLCBC) Occupational Therapy (OT) team currently provide one to one therapy when assessing occupational engagement and developing therapy plans.

As burn morbidity and mortality has improved, burns rehabilitation programs are focused on addressing functional, physical and psychological changes post injury (Silwa, Heinemann & Semik 2005).

Mental and social domains of health related quality of life (HRQOL) were identified as most important by patients, their families, clinicians, scientists and the general public (Piertersma, de Vries & van den Akker, 2013)

Whilst there are potential advantages of play based group therapy in paediatric burns rehabilitation in improving all HRQOL domains, facilitation of groups for children following a burn injury has potential challenges due to the complexity of impairments experienced, parents perceptions and infection control requirements.


  • Review the efficacy of a play based group therapy program in paediatric burn rehabilitation
  • Improve patient/ parent HRQOL and functional outcomes through timely intervention
  • Improve efficiency of therapist resources through provision of group therapy

The PLCBC OT team evaluated the literature as a critically appraised topic (Including literature review of reference lists) and will conduct parent questionnaires to review the efficacy of play based group therapy in paediatric burns rehabilitation.

A literature search of 5 databases (CKN, pubmed, Cinahl, embassy, medline) using the terms paediatric occupational therapy, burns, play based, group therapy, occupational performance, functional recovery was conducted. Critical appraisal by the OT team using the McMaster critical appraisal tool and parent questionnaire findings are being established.


Tamsin Mahoney graduated from the University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2002. She has since worked in several acute tertiary facilities in Australia and the UK in both adult and paediatric settings.

Tamsin currently works as a senior Occupational Therapist at the Pegg Leditscke Children’s Burn Centre, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. She is passionate about providing evidenced based and  family centred paediatric burns rehabilitation.

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