The benefits of burn camps for burns survivors: A systematic review of the literature

Dr Rachel Kornhaber1,2, Dr  Denis Visentin1, Mr Deependra Thapa1, Dr Sancia West1, Professor Josef Haik1,2,3,4, Professor  Michelle Cleary1

1University of Tasmania, Alexandria, Australia, 2National Burns Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel, 3Institute for Health Research, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia, 4Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv Unverity , Tel Aviv , Israel



The objective of this systematic review was to assess the evidence on the benefits of burn camps on child and adolescent burn survivors.


A systematic review was conducted as per the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Restricted to the English language, databases PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL and Scopus were searched using MeSH and indexed terms on area of recreational therapeutic camps for burn survivors. To assess the methodological rigour of the included studies, the Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) for Qualitative Studies Checklist and the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) Critical Appraisal Checklist for non-randomized experimental studies were used. 738 articles were retrieved of which 11 met the inclusion criteria.


The study showed that the quantitative data did not support any sustained impact on psychosocial well being of participants from attending burn camps. However, qualitative data indicated that children identified benefits, including a sense of belonging and companionship.


Given the disparity between the qualitative and the quantitative data, it is recommended that further research should be conducted to understand this lack on congruence.


Rachel Kornhaber is a senior lecturer in Nursing at the University of Tasmania (Sydney campus). Before commencing at UTAS in 2014, Rachel worked as a burns clinician at the Severe Burn Injury Unit, Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Australia and was the Coordinator of the Masters of Burns Nursing at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. Rachel’s research interests are in the area of burns/trauma informed care and she regularly publishes in key peer reviewed journals. She is a member of the Mental and Critical Care Health node (MaCCH). Rachel is also an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the University of Notre Dame, Burns Node, Western Australia, appointed as the current International Society for Burn Injuries Committee Chair for Research and a Research Fellow with the National Burns Center, Sheba Medical Centre, Israel.

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