Bakker, Anne, van Loey, Nancy E.E., van Son, Maaten J.M. and van der Heijden, Peter G.M.
Brief Report: Mothers' long-term posttraumatic stress symptoms following a burn event of their child
Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 35, (6), . (doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsp090). (PMID:19846581).
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This prospective longitudinal study examines the course of posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS) in mothers of children with burns between 1 and 11 years after the burn event and the role of burn severity and feelings of guilt on this course.
Self-reported PTSS of 48 mothers were measured with the Impact of Event Scale. Guilt feelings were assessed during an in-depth interview 2 years after the burn event. Eleven years after the burn event, mothers marked their child's scars at the present time on a drawing.
Over a period of 10 years, maternal PTSS decreased. Multiple regression analysis showed that the interaction between guilt and burn severity predicted the course of PTSS.
Although PTSS substantially decreases through the years, a subset of mothers, in particular mothers who feel guilty about the burn event and whose children have more extensive permanent scarring seem at risk for longer term PTSS.
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