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J Burn Care Res. 2011 May-Jun;32(3):369-78. doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e318217f83a.

Psychiatric diagnoses after hospitalization with work-related burn injuries in Washington State.

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Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention Program, Department of Labor and Industries, Olympia, Washington 98504-4330, USA.


This study aims to describe workers who were hospitalized with work-related burn injuries and their psychiatric sequelae in Washington State. Psychiatric sequelae of interest were depression, posttraumatic stress disorder, and other anxiety disorders. Workers' compensation claims meeting a definition for a hospitalized burn patient from Washington State from January 2001 through April 2008 were analyzed. The resulting claims were searched for the presence of certain psychiatric diagnoses or treatment codes, and descriptive analyses performed. In Washington State during the time period, the prevalence of claims with psychiatric diagnoses after hospitalization with burn injury was 19%. Claims with psychiatric diagnoses had higher medical costs and more days of time loss than those without these diagnoses. Workers with electrical burns in the construction industry and in construction and extraction occupations had a higher proportion of psychiatric sequelae. Burns are devastating yet preventable injuries. Workers who were hospitalized with work-related burn injuries, particularly those in certain industries and occupations and those with electrical burns, are at high risk for developing serious psychiatric sequelae with major costs to both the individual and the society.

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