Parents commonly report elevated distress following a child's burn injury, yet limited research has identified child or injury characteristics that may explain parent distress. The main goal of the current study is to examine prevalence and predictors of parent distress following children's burn injuries by evaluating distress symptoms in a clinic sample of parents whose children present for evaluation and treatment at a regional burn center. Participants included parents of 407 children who experienced a burn injury. Of this sample, follow-up data at a second time point was obtained for 130 children and their caregivers. Parents completed a measure of distress. Clinical and demographic variables were extracted retrospectively from the medical chart. Clinical and at risk levels of distress were reported by nearly 19% of parents at Time 1. Parent distress at Time 1 was associated with child minority race, fewer days since burn injury, and greater burn size. A propensity score was used to account for potential differences between parents with data at Time 1 only versus those with data at Time 2. Parents with Time 2 data tended to have higher levels of distress at Time 1. Of parents with Time 2 data, 17% continued to report elevated distress, and Time 1 distress was the best predictor of later distress. A proportion of parents report elevated distress following their children's burn injuries. Our results suggest that best practices should include routine screening of parent distress following pediatric burn injuries to guide appropriate interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine