A psychological profile of pediatric burn victims

Mary Carroll Alfred (1999)

Stoddard, Norman and Murphy (1989) studied pediatric burn victims and found that children had many diagnoses that represented a significant difference from the general population of children. The purpose of this archival research study was to expand on the research of Stoddard, Norman and Murphy (1989), with the emphasis on better understanding the psychological profile of children who were burned at ages 4 and under. A comparison between children ages 5 and above and children ages 4 and under was conducted with both full and partial diagnoses which both groups received in the original study by Stoddard, Norman and Murphy (1989). An exploration and comparison of the symptomotology that both groups reported in the Diagnostic Instrument for Children and Adolescents (DICA), and the Diagnostic Instrument for Children and Adolescents-Parent Version (DICA-P) was considered. As expected, the children ages 4 and under had significantly less PTSD than those who were burned at ages 5 and above. However, the children who were burned at a younger age had other significant diagnoses within the group of 12 selected diagnoses. This study also found that the children who were burned, when compared to national epidemiological rates for the general population of children, had significantly higher rates of occurrence within a selected group of 12 diagnostic categories. It is anticipated that the outcome of this research may improve intervention and treatment for those specifically burned at age 4 and under and that it may also provide a clearer profile of how trauma impacts infants and children who experience severe burns.