Validation of the Psychosocial Assessment Tool 2.0 for paediatric burn patients

Phoebe Hocking, Miriam Broadhurst, Reginald D. V. Nixon, Anne Gannoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The Psychosocial Assessment Tool 2.0 (PAT-B) is an adaptation of an existing screening tool with the aim of the present study to examine its effectiveness and suitability to identify children and families at risk of emotional, behavioral, and social maladjustment following paediatric burns. 

Methods: Sixty-eight children aged between 6 months - 16 years (M = 4.40) admitted into hospital following paediatric burns, and their primary caregivers, were recruited. The PAT-B comprises several dimensions including family structure and resources, social support, as well as caregiver and child psychological difficulties. Caregivers completed the PAT-B and several standardized measures for validation purposes (e.g., caregiver reports of family functioning, child emotional and behavioural problems, caregiver distress). Children old enough to complete measures reported on their psychological functioning (e.g., posttraumatic stress and depression). Measures were completed within 3 weeks of child admission and then again at 3 months after burn. 

Results: The PAT-B demonstrated good construct validity, evidenced by moderate to strong correlations between the PAT-B Total and subscale scores and several criteria measures (family functioning, child behaviour and caregiver distress, child depressive symptoms, rs ranging from 0.33 −0.74). Preliminary support for criterion validity of the measure was observed when examined against the three tiers of the Paediatric Psychosocial Preventative Health Model. The proportion of families falling within these tiers of risk (Universal [low risk], 58.2%; Targeted, 31.3%; or Clinical range, 10.4%) was consistent with prior research. Sensitivity of the PAT-B to identify children and caregivers at high risk of psychological distress was 71% and 83%, respectively. 

Conclusion: The PAT-B appears to be a reliable and valid instrument for indexing psychosocial risk across families who have sustained a paediatric burn. However, further testing and replication using a larger sample size is recommended before the tool is integrated into routine clinical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1632-1642
Number of pages11
Issue number7
Early online date6 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Assessment
  • Burns
  • Children
  • Families
  • Mental health
  • Psychosocial risk
  • PTSD
  • Screening


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