Burn and Acid Attack victims – Pains are more than skin deep

Burn injuries are devastating, sudden and unpredictable forms of trauma which affect the victim both physically and psychologically[1]. The bio psychosocial impact on individual hospitalized for severe burn wounds begins at the moment of injury and extends through out the person’s life[2] In last decades, the increase in survival rate following burn injury has prompted an increased focus on problems of rehabilitation, psychosocial adjustment and psychosocial concomitants[3].

The psychological aspects of burn injury have been researched in different parts of world producing different outcomes[4]. Psychological impairment has found to be present in 45.5% and 40% at baseline and follow up assessments respectively. The extent of burn has been found to be associated with psychological impairment.

The prevalence of mild to moderate symptoms of Depression are present in 23% to 26%[5] while major depression in 4% to 10%[6]. Lower levels of Anxiety are present in 67.14% whereas moderate to severe Anxiety is reported by 24.29% and 8.57% of patients respectively.

A major component of suffering from burn injury is severe pain[7]. It has been recognized that Anxiety can worsen the acute pain. Moreover, both Depression and Anxiety are strong prospective predictors of greater pain, more fatigue and physical dysfunction[8].

Anxiety is common in burn patients; therefore, this problem should be addressed right from start of treatment since acute anxiety can aggravate the severe pain.  Patients who are depressed require therapy which should be started in hospital and be continued till discharge and full rehabilitation. Flame was most common cause of burn injury.

[1]Loncar Z, Bras M, Mickovic V. The relationships between burn

pain, anxiety and depression. Coll Antropol

[2] Menzies V. Depression and burn wounds. Arch  Psychiatr Nurs

[3] Madianos MG, Papaghelis M, Ioannovich J, Dafni R. Psychiatric

Disorders in Burn Patients: A Follow-Up Study. Psychother


[4] Tedstone JE,  Tarrier N.  An investigation of the prevalence of

psychological morbidity in burn-injured patients. Burns

[5] Thomas BD, Bresnick GM, Magyar-Russell G, Lawrence JW,

McCann UD, Fauerbach JA. Symptoms of depression predict

change in physical health after burn injury. Burns

[6] Tsirigotou S. Acute and Chronic Pain resulting From Burn

Injuries. Ann Mediterr Burns Club

[7] Edwards RR, Smith MT, Klick B, Magyar-Russell G,

Hythornthwaite JA, Holavanhalli R, et al. Symptoms of depression

and anxiety as unique predictors of pain related out comes

following burn injury

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