Symptoms of depression predict change in physical health after burn injury

Brett D. Thombs, Melissa G. Bresnick, Gina Magyar-Russell, John W. Lawrence, Una D. McCann, James A. Fauerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated the prevalence of symptoms of depression in patients hospitalized with severe burns and the association of symptoms of depression in the hospital with physical health 2 months after discharge, controlling for pre-burn physical health as measured by the SF-36 physical composite score. Survivors of acute burns were evaluated during the hospitalization (N = 262) and at 1 week (N = 165) and 2 months (N = 100) after discharge. The prevalence of at least mild to moderate symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory ≥ 10) ranged from 23% to 26%. In-hospital symptoms of depression predicted change in physical health from pre-burn to 2 months post-discharge (p = .02), controlling for patient demographics, burn severity, and symptoms of PTSD. These results suggest that patients should be screened for depression, both in-hospital and during rehabilitation after discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Burn
  • Depression
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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