Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Randomised controlled trial of psychological debriefing for victims of acute burn trauma

  • Jonathan I. Bisson (a1), Peter L. Jenkins (a2), Julie Alexander (a2) and Carol Bannister (a2)
Abstract
Background

Psychological debriefing (PD) is widely used following major traumatic events in an attempt to reduce psychological sequelae.

Method

One hundred and thirty-three adult burn trauma victims entered the study. After initial questionnaire completion, participants were randomly allocated to an individual/couple PD group or a control group who received no intervention; 110 (83%) were interviewed by an assessor blind to PD status three and 13 months later.

Results

Sixteen (26%) of the PD group had PTSD at 13-month follow-up, compared with four (9%) of the control group. The PD group had higher initial questionnaire scores and more severe dimensions of burn trauma than the control group, both of which were associated with a poorer outcome.

Conclusions

This study seriously questions the wisdom of advocating one-off interventions post-trauma, and should stimulate research into more effective initiatives.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr J. I. Bisson, Gabalfa Clinic, 213 North Road, Cardiff CF4 3AG. Fax: 01222 627954. e-mail: 101454.3011@compuserve.com
References
Hide All
American Psychiatric Association (1994) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th edn) (DSM–IV). Washington, DC: APA.
Blake, D. D., Weathers, F. W. & Nagy, L. N. (1990) A clinician rating scale for assessing current and lifetime PTSD: the CAPS–1. Behaviour Therapist, 18, 187188.
Horowitz, M. J., Wilner, N. R. & Alvarez, W. (1979) Impact of event scale: a measure of subjective stress. Psychosomatic Medicine, 41, 768781.
Kilpatrick, A. G., Saunders, B. E., Amick-McMullan, A., et al (1989) Victim and crime factors associated with the development of crime related post-traumatic stress disorder. Behaviour Therapy, 20, 199214.
Lee, C., Slade, P. & Lygo, V. (1996) The influence of psychological debriefing on emotional adaptation in females following early miscarriage. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 69, 4758.
Malt, U. F. (1988) The long-term consequences of accidental injuries. British Journal of Psychiatry, 153, 810818.
Mayou, R., Bryant, B. & Duthie, R. (1993) Psychiatric consequences of road traffic accidents. British Medical Journal, 307, 647651.
Mitchell, J. T. (1903) When disaster strikes … the critical incident debriefing process. Journal of the Emergency Medical Services, 8, 3639.
Peterson, D. R., Carrigan, L., Quested, K. A., et al (1990) Post-traumatic stress disorder in hospitalised patients with burn injuries. Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation, 11, 181184.
Perez-Jimenez, J. P., Graell-Berna, M., Perez-Sales, P., et al (1993) Severe burn injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. American Journal of Psychiatry, 150, 1276.
Perry, S., Difede, J., Musngi, G., et al (1992) Predictors of post-traumatic stress disorder after burn injury. American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 931935.
Pitman, R. K., Altman, B., Greenwald, E., et al (1991) Psychiatric complications during flooding therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 52, 1720.
Raphael, B., Meldrum, L. & McFmrlane, A. C. (1995) Does debriefing after psychological trauma work? Time for randomised controlled trials. British Medical Journal, 310, 14791480.
Robinson, R. C. & Mitchell, J. T. (1993) Evaluation of psychological debriefings. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 6, 367382.
Zigmond, A. S. & Snaith, R. P. (1983) The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 67, 361370.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Randomised controlled trial of psychological debriefing for victims of acute burn trauma

  • Jonathan I. Bisson (a1), Peter L. Jenkins (a2), Julie Alexander (a2) and Carol Bannister (a2)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *