Skin deep – supporting adjustment to life after a burn injury for adolescents

Heidi Cable1, Prof Roy Kimble2 , Dr Megan Simons3

1 Social Work Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101.
2 School of Medicine, Centre for Children’s Health Research, Raymond Terrace, South Brisbane Queensland, 4101.
3 Occupational Therapy Department, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane, Queensland, 4101.

The Skin Deep videos are an engaging resource and intervention that aim to address and support adolescent adjustment to life after burn injury, particularly for use in the acute and rehabilitation phases. Self-esteem, self-acceptance and social relationships have been identified as essential for health-related quality of life. These videos aim to address these issues through focusing on the following:

  • Coping with treatment
  • Returning to daily life including school and work
  • Negotiating the future; and
  • Managing public interest

As the project officer, I engaged a media company and worked closely with them and the participants in the videos to develop a series of 10 videos covering the above topics. Via discussion and negotiation with consumers and their families, together with various stakeholders including hospital executive, media and procurements we produced a product that could be used as a therapeutic tool with adolescents.

These videos are the first of their kind in Australia and are able to be shown on an Ipad at the bedside as part of a support session for the young person and/or their caregiver with a trained burn professional. The videos were launched in October 2015 in a formal ceremony by Children’s Health Queensland and are now available on the CHQ website ( )

The development process, including enablers and barriers will be described to share learnings. The results from ongoing evaluation strategies will inform the value-add component to routine psychosocial standard of care interventions with young people with burns.

Key Words

Adolescent, adjustment, consumer engagment


I am the Senior Social Worker for the Pegg Leditschke Children’s Burns Centre at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. I have worked in the burns unit for three years and am passionate about working with children and adolescents who have complex social needs. I continue to enjoy working with children and families around adjustment to life after a burn injury including self image and coping with public interest. This led me into research into this area where I lead the project of developing videos for adolescents to assist with their long term adjustment.

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