Psychosocial adjustment of burn survivors
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The purpose of this study was to assess the magnitude and predictors of psychosocial adjustment in burn victims. It was postulated that once individuals sustain a burn, their long-term psychosocial adjustment is a function of their present coping responses, social resources, burn severity and time since burn. It was expected that these variables could also be used to identify individuals at risk for psychosocial maladjustment. A historical cohort analytical survey of 340 randomly selected adults and the mothers of 145 children who had sustained either major or minor burns during the past 12 years were administered the Coping Scale, Participation in Social and Recreational Activities Index, Social Support and the Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale. The children's mothers also completed the Family Environment Scale and the Child Behaviour Checklist. In summary, the variance in psychosocial adjustment among adults was related to unemployment, loss of occupational status, avoidance coping, and little involvement in recreational activities. Together, these variables explained 40 per cent of the variance in psychosocial adjustment. Severity of the burn and time since the burn were not related to psychosocial adjustment. The prevalence of psychosocial maladjustment among the adults was 10 per cent and 15.7 per cent among children. Psychosocial adjustment among children was not related to the severity of the burn. The less adjusted children could be distinguished from adjusted children on the basis of their mothers' adjustment and methods of coping. The findings tended to refute the commonly held view that post-burn adjustment is associated with burn severity and suggests psychosocial adjustment is a function of both coping responses and social resources.
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