Modern technological advances have decreased the incidence and severity of burn injuries, and medical care improvements of burn injuries have significantly increased survival rates, particularly in developed countries. Still, fire-related burn injuries are responsible for 300,000 deaths and 10 million disability-adjusted life years lost annually worldwide. The extent to which psychiatric and behavioural factors contribute to the incidence and outcomes of these tragedies has not been systematically documented, and the available data is often insufficient to reach definitive conclusions. Accordingly, this article reviews the evidence of psychiatric and behavioural risk factors and prevention opportunities for burn injuries worldwide. Psychiatric prevalence rates and risk factors for burn injuries, prevalence and risks associated with 'intentional' burn injuries (self-immolation, assault, and child maltreatment), and prevention activities targeting the general population and those with known psychiatric and behavioural risk factors are discussed. These issues are substantially interwoven with many co-occurring risk factors. While success in teasing apart the roles and contributions of these factors rests upon improving the methodology employed in future research, the nature of this entanglement increases the likelihood that successful interventions in one problem area will reap benefits in others.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health