The experiences of wearing Compression Garments post Burn Injury

Ms Nicole Coghlan1,2, Associate Professor  Jodie Copley2, Dr Tammy Aplin2, Professor  Jenny  Strong1,2

1Royal Brisbane And Women’s Hospital, Herston, Australia, 2The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia


Burn injuries result from mostly catastrophic events leaving injuries that require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation (Silwa, Heinemann & Semik, 2005). As burn injuries heal, thick, raised hypertrophic scar can form, with these scars impacting on the patient’s ability to engage in occupational roles including daily hygiene, work and leisure activities. An important role of the multidisciplinary team is to assist in managing scar formation through the provision of compression garments. There is limited evidence however, discussing the patient experience of wearing compression garments, what experiences limit wearing ability or how to improve the patient experience (Martin et al., 2016).
A qualitative research design was utilised to gain patient and therapist perspectives regarding compression garment wear. Key themes include what it is like to wear compression garments, experiences of being a patient, the impact of wearing compression garments, strategies used to make wearing easier, and recommendations to improve the garment experience. In the constant war against scar, knowing patient’s experiences of wearing compression garments, their strategies and recommendations to improve the wearing experience may lead to enhanced outcomes for burn patients.

Martin, C., Bonas, S., Shepherd, L. and Hedges, E., 2016. The experience of scar management for adults with burns: an interpretative phenomenological analysis. Burns, 42(6), pp.1311-1322.
Sliwa, J.A., Heinemann, A. and Semik, P., 2005. Inpatient rehabilitation following burn injury: patient demographics and functional outcomes. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 86(10), pp.1920-1923.


Nikki is an occupational therapist currently working in the burns team at the Lady Client Children’s Hospital. She will be presenting findings from her research masters completed whilst working at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

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