For the purpose of this essay I will be reflecting upon the experience of the presentation, which was based on a clinical problem. The focus of the presentation was to identify the complex psychological factors that affect the patient and the fact that we have a part time clinical psychologist who works at the burns centre and in her absence expert advice is not readily available.
Britain is at the forefront of healthcare for people with disfigurement yet many disfigured people report that the health care system has failed to cater their psychosocial problems. One large project found “ over 40% of patients questioned were found to have levels of social anxiety and depression requiring clinical intervention but almost none had been assessed or offered help”. This has been witnessed from clinical experience also that patients presenting to burns unit at weekends and evening are offered very little psychological support, as there is a need for some sort of care pathways or framework to asses patients needs.
Burn injuries, a unique form of trauma, are in many respects one of the worst injuries than an individual can experience. Adjustment to burn injury is a slow process that often results in high distress and anxiety. Of the 250,000 people in the United Kingdom who suffer a burn injury each year, 13000 are considered serious enough to require hospitalisation. Despite care improvements and significantly improved survival, quality of life and long term adjustment to disfigurement following treatment are still variable.
From professional experience it has been learnt that disfigurement is a challenge which professionals can do much to make less daunting and if it is not properly addressed, many patients and their families will be inhibited from leading full lives. Research has also shown that patients and clients who receive adequate psycho-social support as part of their rehabilitation are more likely to adjust positively to living with a disfigurement. This essay allows the health professionals insight into the current availability of psychological care of disfigured persons, highlighting the actions which may improve psychosocial adjustment and concluding that available evidence indicates changes can be implemented by all healthcare members.
Psychological and social factors have an important influence throughout the entire course of a burn injury, on treatment and the process of recovery, therefore the treatment of people with burns include recovery of optimal function of survivors to fully participate in the society, psychologically and physically.
Burns survivors experience a series of traumatic assault to the body and mind which presents extra ordinary challenges to psychological resilience. Cultural and religious factors can be significant in determining the outcome, as burns patients come from adverse cultures, and care providers must be sensitive to how cultural issues can affect patients and families in all the phase of...