Family scars after pediatric burns
This dissertation was aimed at better understanding the psychological impact of pediatric burns on the family. With the use of both quantitative and qualitative methods, and multiple informants, the perspectives of different family members across various time points postburn were described and analyzed. The first part of the dissertation covered a prospective, longitudinal study of children (8-18 years old) with burns and their parents, with assessments up to 18 months postburn. Within-family associations and predictors of children’s, mothers’ and fathers’ psychological symptoms (such as those of posttraumatic stress) were examined. The second part comprised three qualitative studies that provided an in-depth picture of child and parent experiences after burn injury. Specific attention was paid to experiences surrounding child wound care procedures, as well as the content and nature of child and parent (intrusive) memories after discharge. The main findings of the dissertation are presented in Box 1 and are discussed in the current chapter. Besides a general discussion of the findings, this chapter also addresses the way findings inform the provision of burn (psychosocial) care for families, and directions for future research.