Body image, mood and quality of life in young people burned in childhood
Little is known about how young people who survived burn injuries as children cope when they reach adolescence. This study looked at the body image, mood and quality of life of a group of young people who had burn injuries as children, and a group of young people who had not had these injuries. It was hypothesised that there would be no difference in outcome between the two groups. The study also looked at the relationship between body image, mood and quality of life. The participants were 32 young burn survivors recruited from hospital records of a regional burns unit, and three burned children's clubs. The control group were 41 young people from a comprehensive school. The overall mean age across both groups was 15.24 years, ranging from 11 to 19 years. The mean size of burn in this study is 21.93% total body surface area, ranging from 1 to 63%. The burn survivors completed the Body Esteem Scale (BES), the Satisfaction With Appearance Scale (SWAP), the Beck Depression Inventory-11( BDI-11),and the Youth Quality of Life Questionnaire (YOOL). The school sample completed all questionnaires with the exception of the SWAP. Burn survivors reported significantly more positive evaluations of how others view their appearance, more positive weight satisfaction and a higher quality of life than the school sample. They reported a similar mood to the school sample. Strong relationships were found between body image, mood and quality of life. The data suggest that young burn survivors may be coping well in comparison to their peers, and in some areas may be coping better, in spite of living with the physical, psychological and social consequences of a burn injury.