Parents of children hospitalized for acute burns (n =36) and parents of children hospitalized for other procedures (n =22) were interviewed and assessed with standardized psychological tests within the first week of their children's hospitalization. The two groups were similar demographically, and both groups were highly distressed on measures of state anxiety and general distress. However, depression, hopelessness, and stress response symptoms of intrusion and avoidance were significantly more prominent in the parents of burned children. When social support was entered as a covariate, the difference between groups in hopelessness was explained, but not the differences in depression or stress response symptoms. These data indicate that the parental response to hospitalization of a burned child is quantitatively and qualitatively different than parental response to hospitalization for other procedures. Psychotherapeutic interventions should involve specific methods to reduce depression andposttraumatic intrusive and avoidant stress responses. The theoretical relevance of these data with respect to the development of stress response syndromes in parents of burned children in discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology