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Burns. 2011 Nov;37(7):1248-54. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2011.04.016. Epub 2011 Jul 2.

An audit of patients' experiences and opinions concerning mirrors in a UK burns service.

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Burns Unit, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, City Campus, Hucknall Road, Nottingham, NG5 1PB, United Kingdom.


Patients' experiences of and opinions concerning the presence of mirrors in burns services are unknown. The prevalence of mirrors and associated nursing practice in UK burns services is also unclear. Recently discharged burns patients (n=60) completed a questionnaire and representatives from all 18 adult burns inpatient services in the UK were surveyed. Results suggested that 90% of patients with facial burns viewed their injuries in a mirror before discharge compared to 15% of patients with burns elsewhere. Thirty-six percent of patients reported they were informed that they could request a mirror if desired and 30% were asked whether they would like a mirror. Only 22% of patients reported that they would not have liked mirrors in their rooms/ward area and 14% reported that this would have distressed them. It was patients who most often decided to view their injuries for the first time and nurses were most commonly present. Mirrors were present in most UK burns services but none had protocols to guide staff in helping patients view their injuries. In conclusion, concealable mirrors should be present in burns services but patients should be psychologically prepared about their presence. Protocols should be developed to provide optimal burn care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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