The unseen scar – A cross-sectional study of post major burn psychological impact and quality of life

Dr Fatimah Mohd Nor1, Dr Fatimah Mat Johar1, Dr Arman Mat Saad1

1Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kota Bharu, Malaysia

Objectives: The objectives of this study is to determine the effect of total body surface area (TBSA) of burns towards posttraumatic stress disorders (PTSD), depression and quality of life (QOL) in major burn cases.

Methods: Majors burn patients that were treated in Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia, were selected based on the inclusion criteria. A total number of 55 patients with 2 years post burn was invited voluntarily and consented to participate in answering  the psychometric battery which are the Malay translated and validated questionnaires.

Results: There is a significant relationship between TBSA and PTSD ( DF 2,52=3.66, p<0.05), also between TBSA and depression (DF 2,52=11.2, p<0.05). There is a significant effect of TBSA towards quality of life (DF1,53=13.57, p<0.05). It reflects the higher level of TBSA leads to poor quality of life, with 1% increase in TBSA we expect  the changes of  QOL  was  – 0.9. Overall, the model explained 20.4% variance changes in quality of life.

Conclusion: All major burn patients ideally should be screened for PTSD and depression in view of the vulnerability of their psychological state. Post burn QOL assessment is the next tool to be instilled in burn management as it reflects patients’ current well-being.


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