The Effects of Severe Burns on Levels of Activity
Purpose: With the recent advances in medicine, the survival rate of clients with severe burns has improved. This has resulted in greater demand for rehabilitation services. One of the major goals for rehabilitation programmes is to restore these clients to their pre-trauma activity levels. However, there is not much research on the subject.
Methods: Based on their availability, 30 clients with severe burns were selected, who had been discharged from the hospital for periods ranging from 1 month to 1 year. Interviews were conducted and the participants’ perceptions were recorded regarding changes in their self-care, household chores, professional work, hobbies and recreational activities. Based on the results, 2 independent assessors categorised the activity levels as none, minor, intermediate and severe, in terms of negative effect.
Results: In the self-care category, 8 participants reported no negative effect, 12 reported minor, 4 reported intermediate and 6 reported severe effects. In the household chores category, only 2 clients reported no effect and 13 indicated severe effects on their activities. Of the 21 participants who were working, only 2 reported no change in pre-trauma activities while 11 reported severe changes in their working activity levels. While 5 participants indicated no change in their recreational and leisure activity levels, 6 reported severe changes.
Conclusion: Severe burns reduce clients’ levels of activity in some of the categories. However, they often regain their ability to perform activities at a lower level, depending on the site of burn, burning agent, and having received early rehabilitation pre- and post-discharge. Psycho-social factors, pre- and post- trauma, are also important.
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