Beyond the Burn: Psychosocial Interventions for Burn Survivors

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Primary Focus:Rehabilitation, Disability, and Participation Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the impact of burns on an individual’s psychosocial functioning 2. Discuss the implication of occupational therapy psychosocial interventions to improve occupational performance 3. Indicate appropriate occupational therapy psychosocial interventions in burn care Abstract: Burn injury is often a life-changing event with long term physical and psychosocial effects (Dahl, Wickman, & Wengström, 2012). People with burn injuries experience at least temporary psychosocial difficulties and many experience persistent social tensions (Corry, Pruzinsky, & Rumsey, 2009) Psychosocial responses, including depression and anxiety, have a significant impact on occupational participation (Radomski, & Latham, 2008) Occupational therapists (OTs) provide physical and psychosocial interventions to promote occupational participation (American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014a; AOTA, 2014b) While literature supports physical interventions and notes the impact of psychosocial issues related to burns (Radomski, & Latham, 2008), OTs rarely apply psychosocial i nterventions when treating this population, limiting benefits of therapy. Seeing a need to connect evidence-based psychosocial interventions with therapists working with the burn population, the purpose of this presentation is to disseminate relevant works to build awareness and encourage therapists to employ methods during sessions (AOTA, 2014b). Performing a systematic review using CINAHL, PubMed, and OVID, researchers found evidence for specific psychosocial interventions within acute care and within the OT scope of practice. Interventions included distraction and cognitive-based to decreased anxiety, decrease pain, increase positive physical responses, and increase quality of life. Inclusion criteria involved 2007 -current, all levels of research, and all participants. Exclusion criteria encompassed caregiver support, burn-like injuries, and burnout. Using criteria, researchers screened 26 abstracts. Using Critical Review Form -Quantitative Studies (Law & MacDermid, 2008) researchers screened 13 articles.Findings reinforced the unique role OT plays in burn care by addressing both physical and psychosocial functioning. Results are clinically relevant as they highlight not only the importance of immediately addressing psychosocial issues, but also the gap between acknowledging the importance of addressing psychosocial is sues and implementing OT psychosocial interventions into therapy Findings will impact clinical practice by motivating therapists to maximize benefits of therapy by pairing psychosocial recovery with physical recovery to promote rehabilitation. More documentation leading to research is needed regarding impact of OT psychosocial interventions in burn care .

Presentation: 43 minutes