Psychiatric outcomes amongst adult survivors of childhood burns

Freya Goodhew, Miranda Van Hooff, Anthony Sparnon, Rachel Roberts, Jenelle Baur, Elizabeth Saccone, Alexander McFarlane

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Background Research on the adult psychiatric outcomes of childhood burns is limited. Aims To examine the rates of DSM-IV psychiatric disorder amongst adult survivors of paediatric burns, and to explore factors likely to contribute to variation in outcomes. In line with Meyer and colleagues [1], it was expected that high levels of psychopathology would be found. Method Participants were 272 adults hospitalised for burns during childhood between the years 1980 and 1990. Structured interviews and self-report questionnaires were used to assess psychiatric symptoms. Results Lifetime prevalence of any DSM-IV disorder was 42%, 30% for depressive disorders, and 28% for anxiety disorders. Eleven percent had made a suicide attempt. Female gender, single relationship status, higher level of disfigurement, longer hospital stays and higher number of burn-related surgeries were associated with adverse psychiatric outcomes. Conclusions High rates of suicidality and depression were concerning in adults with a history of childhood burns. Factors found to predict psychiatric outcomes could be used to direct interventions and further research is needed to establish how this could best be done.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1079-1088
    Number of pages10
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


    • Adult outcomes
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Paediatric burns
    • Psychological outcomes
    • Suicidality
    • Trauma


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