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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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The life impact of burns: the perspective from burn persons in Brazil during their rehabilitation phase


Ciofi-Silva, C.L., Rossi, L.A., Dantas, R.S., Costa, C.S., Echevarria-Guanilo, M.E., & Ciol, M.A



Publication Info:

Disability and Rehabilitation, 32(6):431-437


PURPOSE: By using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, the focus of this study was to describe the changes associated with burns on the lives of Brazilian burn victims during the rehabilitation phase, and to investigate possible associations between the changes in work reported by the participants and the percentage of total body surface area burnt, and the body areas affected by the injury.
METHOD: Participants were 18 years of age or older, who had been discharged from hospitalisation between 6 months and 1 year before the interview, or who underwent reconstructive surgery during the previous year, or who were under outpatient follow-up awaiting reconstructive surgery. Data were collected by means of semi-structured interviews.
RESULTS: Thirty-eight of the 44 participants (86.4%) reported some type of changes associated with the burn injury, the treatment, or both, regarding the following aspects: work, leisure, relationships, religious ties, educational activities and habits (smoking, using alcohol and drugs and dressing style). The data showed a statistically significant association between burns on at least one of the upper limbs (with or without hands) and changes in work.
CONCLUSIONS: Some of the aspects mentioned by the participants, such as work and leisure activities, need to be further researched in order to improve our understanding of the impact that these changes causes in the person's life.

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