Efficacy and cultural appropriateness of psychosocial interventions for paediatric burn patients and caregivers: A systematic review

H. M. Williams, K. Hunter, K. Clapham, C. Ryder, R. Kimble, B. Griffin

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    7 Citations (Scopus)
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    Background: Paediatric burns are highly painful and traumatising injuries that are overrepresented among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Paediatric burn patients' pain remains poorly managed by pharmacological interventions, leading to increased anxiety, distress, and trauma in patients and their caregivers. Non-pharmacological psychosocial interventions have been suggested as effective in reducing pain and psychological morbidities among paediatric burn patients and their caregivers; however, their degree of effectiveness and appropriateness for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is unclear. Methods: A non-date restricted systematic review was conducted through four databases. Studies published in English assessing psychosocial interventions on paediatric burn patients' physical pain along with theirs and/or their caregiver's anxiety, distress, or trauma symptoms were identified and included in this review. Included studies were assessed for their ability to reduce one of the outcomes of interests and for their reflection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' perspectives of health. Results: Of the 3178 identified references, 17 were eligible. These include distraction based techniques (n = 8), hypnosis/familiar imagery (n = 2), therapeutic approaches (n = 4), and patient preparation/procedural control (n = 3). Distraction techniques incorporating procedural preparation reduced pain, while discharge preparation and increased 'patient control' reduced patient and caregiver anxiety; and internet based Cognitive Behaviour Therapy reduced short-term but not long-term post-traumatic stress symptoms. No interventions reflected Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' perspectives of health; and few targeted caregivers or focused on reducing their symptoms. Conclusions: The development and assessment of psychosocial interventions to appropriately meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander paediatric burn patients is required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number284
    Number of pages16
    JournalBMC Public Health
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020

    Bibliographical note

    Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated


    • Aboriginal
    • Anxiety
    • Distress
    • Paediatric burns
    • Pain
    • Psychological trauma
    • Psychosocial interventions
    • Torres Strait Islander


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