Severe burn injury: effects on psychologic and immunologic function in noninjured close relatives.


The crucial role of close relative care givers in the rehabilitation of the patient with burns indicates that the psychologic adjustment of noninjured relatives is of concern. This study examined the stress profiles of 14 spouses and parents of patients with burns of greater than 20% total body surface area. Four standardized measures of depression, anxiety, and cell-mediated immunity were used. Tests were given at two time intervals: less than 72 hours after admission and 2 to 5 weeks later. Depression and anxiety were high at the first test period; there was a significant drop in depression (p less than 0.05) but not in anxiety at the second testing. Immune function was suppressed at the first test but improved at the second test (p less than 0.05). There were significant negative correlations between immune response and psychologic distress, indicating that immune function declined as depressive symptoms increased. These results support an interaction between psychologic distress and immunity, and provide further evidence of the stressful nature of severe burn injury on close noninjured relatives.

Shelby J1, Sullivan J, Groussman M, Gray R, Saffle J. | 1992
In: J Burn Care Rehabil | 13 | 1 | Jan-Feb | 58-63
Placement code: 
Yzermans collectie