Prolonged adjustment difficulties among those with acute posttrauma distress following burn injury

James A. Fauerbach, John W. Lawrence, Andrew M. Munster, Debra A. Palombo, Daniel Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


This study examined the impact of mild to moderate symptoms of in- hospital posttrauma distress (PTD) following severe burn injury on quality of life (QOL) at 2-month follow-up after controlling for preburn QOL, injury severity, and state Negative Affectivity (depression, body image dissatisfaction) and dispositional optimism-pessimism. Participants' (n = 86) self-report established PTD and non-PTD groups (median split on Davidson Trauma Scale). After covarying preburn level of psychosocial QOL, PTD groups differed on psychosocial functioning at follow-up. This effect remained after covarying injury severity, state NA, dispositional optimism-pessimism, and preburn Mental domain QOL. PTD groups also differed significantly on physical functioning at follow-up after covarying preburn physical functional status. This effect was removed by controlling preburn Physical domain QOL and either injury severity or state NA and dispositional optimism-pessimism. Therefore, PTD is related to significant impairments in the physical and psychosocial adjustment of survivors of severe burns regardless of pretrauma level of adjustment. Injury severity and state NA and dispositional optimism-pessimism moderate the impact of PTD on physical but not psychosocial adjustment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-378
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999


  • Burns
  • Distress
  • Injury
  • PTSD
  • Quality of life
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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