Two-Year Gender Differences in Satisfaction With Appearance After Burn Injury and Prediction of Five-Year Depression: A Latent Growth Curve Approach

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2017 Nov;98(11):2274-2279. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.04.011. Epub 2017 May 5.


Objectives: To use latent growth curve and longitudinal structural equation modeling to examine the 2-year trajectory of satisfaction with appearance in adults with burn injury, and that trajectory's effect on depression 5 years after burn injury.

Design: Data were collected at discharge after burn injury hospitalization and at 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, and 5 years postdischarge.

Setting: The Burn Model Systems (BMS) program consisted of a data center and 5 participating burn centers.

Participants: The sample consisted of adults (N=720) who were hospitalized for a burn injury, enrolled in the BMS database, and completed measures at least once throughout the 5-year study duration.

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: Satisfaction With Appearance Scale and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (depression).

Results: Women with burn injury reported higher levels of dissatisfaction with their appearance in comparison to their male counterparts over the 2 years after discharge. Individuals with a larger total body surface area (TBSA) affected by a burn also reported greater body dissatisfaction across the postdischarge 2-year period. Results did not support significant gender or TBSA differences in the rate of change of body dissatisfaction trajectories across these 2 years. Individuals with greater body dissatisfaction at 6 months postdischarge tended to have higher depressive symptoms at 5 years. Six month postdischarge, body dissatisfaction scores also mediated the effects of gender and TBSA on depressive symptoms 5 years later.

Conclusions: It is recommended that individuals with heightened body image dissatisfaction after a burn, particularly women and those with larger TBSA, participate in evidence-based psychosocial interventions to improve long-term adjustment.

Keywords: Body image; Burns; Depression; Rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Image*
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / psychology*
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Quality of Life
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors