Author(s): Gilboa D, Gilboa D
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Abstract The paper examines the relevant professional literature in order to explore how adjustment after burn injury may be enhanced. For this purpose, the unique characteristics of burn injury, and particularly the psychological meaning of the skin injury, are examined. An attempt is made to understand why some researchers find that a majority of this population suffers psychological disturbance, while others show that it is a 'normal' population, with no premorbid psychopathology. The ways of enhancing the psychological adjustment of burn victims, beginning with the acute phase of hospitalization and until long-term adjustment in the community, are discussed. These include, mainly, integrative team work to create a 'cover' as a skin substitute around the patient, social support, different techniques of psychotherapy when necessary, and job placement. In an attempt to learn what happens to burn patients a year after injury and later, we reviewed studies of their situation in terms of work, the family (including sexual functioning) and social interaction. In light of all this, the possibility of predicting long-term psychological adjustment among burn victims and the variables that may be relevant to this, such as, size of the burn or, rather, the individual's personality traits, are discussed.
This article was published in Burns
and referenced in Journal of Defense Management