Predicting Depression and Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Following Burn Injury: A Risk Scoring System

J Burn Care Res. 2022 Jul 1;43(4):899-905. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irab215.


Depression and posttraumatic stress (DPTS) are common psychiatric comorbidities following burn injury. The purpose of this study was to develop an admission scoring system that assesses the risk of development of depression or posttraumatic symptoms in the burn population. This study is a retrospective review of the prospectively collected Burn Model System National Database. Adult burn survivors enrolled from 2014 to 2018 (n = 486) were included. The primary outcome was the presence of DPTS symptoms at 6, 12, or 24 months postinjury. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify demographic and clinical predictors of DPTS symptoms. A risk scoring system was then created based on assigning point values to relevant predictor factors. The study population had a mean age of 46.5 ± 15.8 years, mean burn size of 18.3 ± 19.7%, and was 68.3% male. Prior to injury, 71.3% of the population was working, 47.9% were married, and 50.8% had completed more than a high school education. An 8-point risk scoring system was developed using the following predictors of DPTS symptom development: gender, psychiatric treatment in the past year, graft size, head/neck graft, etiology of injury, and education level. This study is the first to develop a DPTS symptom risk scoring system for burn injury. This scoring system will aid in identifying burn survivors at high risk of long-term psychiatric symptoms that may be used to improve screening, monitoring, timely diagnosis, and interventions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Burns* / complications
  • Burns* / psychology
  • Burns* / therapy
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / diagnosis
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / epidemiology
  • Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic* / etiology
  • Survivors