Brief report: quality of life is impaired in pediatric burn survivors with posttraumatic stress disorder

J Pediatr Psychol. Jan-Feb 2009;34(1):14-21. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsm088. Epub 2007 Sep 21.


Objective: This study assessed health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in pediatric burn survivors and examined associations between PTSD and HRQOL.

Methods: Forty-three burn survivors, ages 7-16 years, were interviewed at an average of 4.4 years after their accident using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale for Children and Adolescents and the TNO-AZL Child Quality of Life Questionnaire.

Results: Eight children (18.6%) met DSM-IV criteria for current PTSD. While most dimensions of HRQOL were within normal limits, social functioning was impaired. Severity of PTSD was significantly associated with physical, cognitive, and emotional dimensions of HRQOL. Children with PTSD reported an impaired overall HRQOL and limited physical (e.g., more bodily complaints) and emotional functioning (e.g., more feelings of sadness).

Conclusions: This study provides tentative evidence for a considerably high prevalence of PTSD in pediatric burn survivors and for a negative association between PTSD and HRQOL.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Adolescent
  • Burns / psychology*
  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Emotions
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Illness Behavior
  • Male
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic / psychology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Survivors / psychology*