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Predicting Quality of Life Impairments in Pediatric Burn Patients
Kaushalendra Amatya, PhD, Margo Szabo, MA, Dylan Stewart, MD, Susan Ziegfeld, PNP-BC , Rick Ostrander, Ed.D., Carisa Perry-Parrish, PhD. Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Although quality of life (QOL) and psychological functioning have been well studied in pediatric burn populations (e.g., Daltroy et al., 2000), limited research has been conducted examining predictors of children's QOL following a burn. Parent symptomatic distress and child gender are two such factors that may predict children's QOL, given prior research suggesting that parents of pediatric burn survivors experience clinically significant acute stress reactions (Bakker et al., 2012) and that females are at higher risk for adjustment difficulties following traumas (e.g., Green et al., 1991). The current study investigated the roles of child gender and parent symptomatic distress as risk factors of QOL impairments in pediatric burn patients. Participants were pediatric burn patients (N = 89; 50.6% female; mean age = 9.1 years) and their families who were screened in a multidisciplinary clinic by a pediatric psychologist using the Child's Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI; Lewis-Jones & Finlay, 1995) and Short Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Rating (SPRINT; Connor & Davidson, 2001). Results indicate that children's QOL impairment (CDLQI) was positively correlated with parent stress (r = .464, p < .01). Regression analyses indicated that parent stress explained 21.5% of variance and gender explained 6.7% of variance in children's QOL impairment. These findings indicate that gender (i.e., female) and elevated parent stress symptoms are associated with elevated QOL impairments following a burn. As such, prevention and intervention efforts should emphasize addressing parental adjustment and coping, and recognizing the possibly elevated vulnerability in girls.


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