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Original Papers

Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with burns referred for psychiatric assessment to a tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka

Authors:

J. S. Galhenage ,

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
About J. S.
University Psychiatry Unit
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I. C. Perera,

National Hospital of Sri Lanka, LK
About I. C.
University Psychiatry Unit
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M. Amarasuriya,

University of Colombo, LK
About M.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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R. Hanwella,

University of Colombo, LK
About R.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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M. Dayabandara

University of Colombo, LK
About M.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction

Burns are associated with significant psychological morbidity. The relationship between burns and psychiatric conditions is bidirectional. There are hardly any Sri Lankan studies describing psychological morbidity among adults with burns.

 

Aims

To describe the psychological morbidity and associated factors in patients with burn injuries

referred to the University Psychiatry Unit, National Hospital of Sri Lanka.

 

Methods

A retrospective record-based study was carried out by extracting demographic and clinical data from records of all patients with burns, referred for psychiatric assessment to the University Psychiatry Unit, for two years from 1st January 2018 onwards. Associations were explored using the chi-square test.

 

Results

Eighty-seven records were analysed; 56.3% were females. The mean age was 37.8 years (SD=15.8). The mean burn surface area was 36.2% (SD=16.6). The cause of the burn was accidental in 55%, self-inflicted in 31% and homicidal in 3.4%. Among all patients with burns, a past diagnosis of mental illness was detected in 35.6% (95% CI 25.6-46.6), substance use in 11.5%, and personality disorders in 10.3%. Current psychiatric morbidity after burn injury was diagnosed in 59.8% (95% CI 48.7-70.1), the most frequent being depressive disorder (32.2%), followed by adjustment disorder (16.1%) and delirium (6.9%). Female gender, being aged <30 years and a history of psychiatric illness were significantly associated with selfinflicted burns.

 

Conclusions

Burn injuries were associated with psychological morbidity, particularly depression.
How to Cite: Galhenage, J.S., Perera, I.C., Amarasuriya, M., Hanwella, R. and Dayabandara, M., 2021. Demographic and clinical characteristics of patients with burns referred for psychiatric assessment to a tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka Journal of Psychiatry, 12(1), pp.11–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/sljpsyc.v12i1.8293
Published on 12 Jun 2021.
Peer Reviewed

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