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Routine Psychological Screening for Parent Depressive Symptoms in an Outpatient Pediatric Specialty Burn Clinic
Carisa Parrish, PhD; Dylan Stewart, MD, FACS; Susan Ziegfeld, MSN, NP; Rick Ostrander, EdD
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Background: Pediatric burn injuries present considerable stress to parents and caregivers, yet few burn clinics report systematically screening of caregivers (Brown Kirschman, Fritz, & Butz, 2007). We evaluate psychometric properties of a 2-item depression screener administered to parents of children with burn injuries during an outpatient clinic visit.

Methods: We used a retrospective review of pediatric patients with burn injuries (n=299, age range 0-17 years; M=5.22 years, SD=4.39 yrs) seen June 2014 to July 2016. Pediatric sample was 53.8%; ethnicity composition was 44.8% Black/African American, 40.1% White. Most patients (96.3%) had a total burn surface area (TBSA) of 10% or less and partial thickness burns (86.1%). Depressive symptoms were scored 0 (not at all) to 4 (very much), possible score range of 0-8. The measure was administered at two time points as part of routine care: T1 (n=299) and T2 (n=81).

Results: Range was 0-8 at T1 and was 0-6 at T2; T1 mean was 1.06 (SD=1.64), and .93 (SD=1.57) at T2. The majority scored < 3 (90.6% caregivers), and 9.4% scored > 4. The measure demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency at T1 (Cronbach α=0.75) and T2 (α= 0.82). Scores at T1 and T2 for a subsample (n=81) indicated significant association (r= .62, p < .0001); having a correlation below .70 suggest that the measure is sensitive to change over time.

Conclusions: This brief 2-item depression scale used with caregivers of pediatric burn patients appears to be an effective measure that demonstrates good internal consistency and is sensitive to change.

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