Factors influencing psychological, social and health outcomes after major burn injuries in adults: a longitudinal cohort study

Ms Martha Druery1, A/Prof Peter Newcombe2, Dr Cate M. Cameron3, Prof Jeffrey Lipman1

1The University of Queensland, Burns Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre, Herston, Australia, 2The University of Queensland, School of Psychology, St Lucia, Australia, 3Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Meadowbrook, Australia

Loss of independence, function as well as loss of income for burns patients and carers cause a significant burden at both an individual and societal level. Much is being done to advance knowledge in the clinical care field, however there has been a paucity of research exploring psychosocial outcomes. This paper will present preliminary data from an ongoing longitudinal cohort study of psychosocial outcomes after major burn injuries.

In this inception cohort study, a baseline sample of 280 adult participants admitted to the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) with a burn injury were identified by hospital staff for inclusion. Baseline survey data were collected either in person or by telephone within 28 days of the injury and participants were then followed up with telephone interviews at 3, 6 and 12 months post-burn. Injury and burns treatment information was collected from medical records. Social support was measured as a predictor variable using the MSPSS. Outcome data were collected via standardised measures in the domains of Quality of Life (SF-12, EQ-5D, BSHS-B), depression (PHQ-9), post-traumatic stress disorder (PCL-C, PAS), community integration (CIQ-R) and quality-adjusted life years (EQ-5D). Additional survey questions measured life satisfaction, return to work, and public services utilisation at 12 months post-injury.

Short- and long-term psychosocial outcomes are the focus of this study. Preliminary results will be presented. Identification of factors associated with psychosocial outcomes following burn injury, including related injury, treatment and pre-injury social factors will provide evidence for prioritising health care resources to effect optimal injury recovery.

Martha Druery is currently enrolled in a Research Higher Degree at UQ, having previously worked as a Social Work Specialist in Intensive Care and Burns across adult and paediatric settings since 1997. She remains actively involved in the burns field with first author publications, private practice adjustment to injury counselling services and volunteer work nationally with the Julian Burton Burns Trust and locally with Burnslife, in Queensland. Her PhD is investigating the quantitative relationship between burns outcomes and domains such as injury, treatment, personal and social factors.

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