Coping with burn injury: Research summary and a new model of the influence of coping on psychological complications

James A. Fauerbach, Melissa G. Bresnick, Michael T. Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


The level of evidence accrued to date precludes definitive recommendations. However, tentative recommendations can be offered in light of the knowledge gathered up to this point. First, the psychosocial care of individuals with burn injuries must be universally available and must incorporate routine assessment during the acute care phase. Second, assessment should include pre-injury level of health and function, history of psychological distress, and social support, as well as several indices of psychological distress (e.g., depression, posttraumatic distress, body image dissatisfaction), methods of coping with the burn injury and its complications, and, identifying health-promoting individual strengths (e.g., self-efficacy, resilience, optimism) and social resources. Third, intervention during hospitalization (versus after discharge) is probably optimal because the distress is severe, openness to care is enhanced, concern with stigmatization is reduced, and access to services is more universal than it will ever be following discharge. Fourth, interventions that focus on enhancing coping skills and improving physical and psychological resilience/efficacy/ competence are likely to be welcomed, useful, and most likely be of continued enduring benefit. Finally, in order to develop evidence-based practice, there is an urgent need for well-designed studies (e.g., randomized, controlled trials), testing such interventions in the burn-injured population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCoping with Chronic Illness and Disability
Subtitle of host publicationTheoretical, Empirical, and Clinical Aspects
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780387486680
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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