Stress and coping relatives of burn patients: a longitudinal study

D. F. Cella, S. W. Perry, S. Kulchycky, C. Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Standardized psychological assessment of 48 close relatives of patients hospitalized for burns revealed that the relatives experienced high levels of distress during the acute phase of the patient's hospitalization. At six-month follow-up, the relative's general psychological symptomatology had receded to within the normal range, but 25 percent continued to show specific stress syndromes characterized by intrusive and avoidant responses to the past burn trauma. Intrusive-avoidant stress responses could not be predicted by demographic information, severity of the burn, facial disfigurement, or actual responsibility for the burn, but blaming oneself for the injury to the patient was a significant predictor. Evaluating stress responses of close relatives after burn trauma can lead to more successful intervention for those who remain stressed and may enhance patients and family compliance with the treatment and rehabilitation regime.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)159-166
Number of pages8
JournalHospital and Community Psychiatry
Volume39
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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