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J Burn Care Rehabil. 2000 Mar-Apr;21(2):105-11.

Post-traumatic stress symptoms and distress 1 year after burn injury.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine and University of Washington Burn Center, Seattle, USA.


The occurrence and predictors of post-traumatic stress symptoms 1 year after a burn injury were assessed in a large prospective sample (N = 172). Participants completed a self-report post-traumatic stress symptom checklist at 3 time points: within 24 hours of admission to a burn center, 1 month after the injury, and 1 year after the injury. A notable number of participants had a range of post-traumatic stress symptoms both at 1 month and at 1 year after the burn injury. More than half of the sample reported recurrent intrusive recollections of the burn injury at 1 month and at 1 year. Other commonly endorsed symptoms were sleep disturbance, avoidance of thoughts or feelings associated with the burn, and distress at reminders of the burn. The number of post-traumatic stress symptoms endorsed at 1 month was the only significant predictor of post-traumatic stress symptoms at 1 year. These results suggest that it is common for patients to have some post-traumatic symptoms 1 year after a burn injury and that early experiences of post-traumatic stress symptoms may be associated with the development or maintenance of post-traumatic stress disorder. We recommend that burn care professionals identify and intervene with patients who have clinically significant distress as a result of their burn injuries.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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