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Post-traumatic growth in adults following a burn injury

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2014
Issue number6
Number of pages8
Pages (from-to)1089-1096
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


It is well established that a burn can result in negative psychological consequences. Throughout the literature there is also reference to individuals reporting positive changes post-burn. The concept of ‘post-traumatic growth’ (PTG) refers to such individuals, whose recovery exceeds pre-trauma levels of well-being. To date there has only been one quantitative analysis directly examining PTG post-burn. The present study builds on this, examining the prevalence of PTG and related constructs, including: social support, coping styles, dispositional optimism, functioning, post-traumatic stress symptoms, severity and time since burn. Seventy-four participants recruited through a regional burns unit completed a battery of self-report questionnaires. Burn survivors were found to experience PTG, although to a lesser degree than previous research suggests (GM = 1.26, range = 0–4.67). Severity of burn, post-burn functioning and trauma symptoms significantly correlated with PTG. Regression analysis proposed a model explaining 51.7% of the variance, with active coping, perceived social support and avoidance coping as significant predictors of PTG. Results support the theory that distress and trauma symptoms act as a catalyst for PTG. Coping styles and social support appear to facilitate this process. Clinical implications are discussed.