Depression in survivors of burn injury: a systematic review

Brett D. Thombs, Melissa G. Bresnick, Gina Magyar-Russell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background: The objective of this study was to systematically review the prevalence, persistence, and risk factors for depression postburn injury. Methods: A search of the MEDLINE, CINAHL, and PsycINFO databases was conducted in June 2006 to identify studies that used a standardized interview or validated questionnaire to assess depression. The search was augmented by hand searching of selected journals and references of identified articles and reviews. Results: Major depression was identified in 4% to 10% of adult patients using structured interviews in hospital and in the year following discharge. The prevalence of significant depressive symptoms in studies that used the depression subscale of the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale post discharge was 4% to 13%, whereas studies that used the Beck Depression Inventory generally produced substantially higher rates: between 13% and 26% for "moderate to severe" symptoms and between 22% and 54% for at least "mild" symptoms. Conclusions: The general low quality of studies reviewed suggests the need for future studies using larger sample sizes to adequately assess prevalence rates and risk factors. No existing studies have addressed the persistence of depression in burn survivors; there are no treatment studies; and there are no recent studies of children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)494-502
Number of pages9
JournalGeneral Hospital Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2006


  • Burn injury
  • Depression
  • Prevalence
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


Dive into the research topics of 'Depression in survivors of burn injury: a systematic review'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this