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Coping, Personality and Cognitive Processes in Burn Injured Patients
Uppsala University, Medicinska vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Neuroscience.
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Being severely burned is a traumatic life event that affects the victim both physically and psychologically. Recovery can be a long process that is dependent in part upon psychological factors, but research in this area is still quite limited. The main aim of the thesis was to explore coping, personality and cognitive processes in long-term and short-term adaptation. The participants were recruited from three separate samples of former and consecutive adult burn patients.

A questionnaire, the Coping with Burns Questionnaire (CBQ), was developed to retrospectively assess coping. It consisted of six coping factors related in different ways to self-reported health status. Regarding personality, the former patients displayed slightly more Neuroticism than people in general, suggesting an overrepresentation of premorbid neurotic personality traits. Avoidant coping was related to poorer perceived health status, more maladaptive personality traits, and was a strong predictor of psychological symptoms at three months post-burn. Regarding cognitive processes, a moderate attentional bias towards burn-related information was found in the former patients when using the emotional Stroop task. This indicates that the burn may still be an important issue years after the event. Finally, former patients’ reactions to participating in a trauma-related postal survey were investigated. A majority felt that participation was positive or even beneficial, while a small subgroup felt that participation was cumbersome or negative.

To summarise, although many burn patients adapt well in the long run, the burn may still be a significant theme and the subgroup of Avoidant copers are especially vulnerable. The CBQ seems to be an adequate tool for discerning individuals at risk for poor adjustment. Trauma-related postal questionnaires are well accepted by a majority of former burn patients. Although long-term prospective follow-ups are needed to further validate the results, it is suggested that early screening of psychological factors could be of value in burn care.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2003. , p. 55
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 0282-7476 ; 1223
Keywords [en]
Psychiatry, Accident, burn injury, coping, depression, ethics, health status, personality, posttraumatic stress, questionnaire, trauma
Keywords [sv]
Psykiatri
National Category
Psychiatry
Research subject
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-3291ISBN: 91-554-5528-X (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-3291DiVA, id: diva2:162326
Public defence
2003-03-21, Auditorium Minus, Gustavianum, Uppsala, 09:15
Opponent
Available from: 2003-02-25 Created: 2003-02-25Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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