Routine Psychological Screening for Parent Depressive Symptoms in an Outpatient Pediatric Specialty Burn Clinic

Nicholas P. Seivert, Mackenzie Sommerhalder, Dylan Stewart, Susan Ziegfeld, Rick Ostrander, Elizabeth K. Reynolds, Carisa Parrish

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Pediatric burn injuries are stressful for parents, yet few burn clinics report screening caregivers. We evaluated psychometric properties of a two-item depression screener administered to parents of children with burns during outpatient clinic visits. We also examined associations between parent depression symptoms and child characteristics. We used a retrospective review of pediatric patients with burn injuries (n = 496, age range: 0-21 years; M = 5.0 years, SD = 4.4 years) from an outpatient specialty burn clinic. Sample was 54.8% male; ethnicity was 42.4% Black/African American and 42.2% White. Most children (94.7%) had a burn TBSA of 10% or less and partial thickness burns (87%). Depression measure was administered at two time points as part of routine care: T1 (n = 496) and T2 (n = 121). Score range was 0 to 8. The means were 1.17 (SD = 1.74) at T1 and 0.81 (SD = 1.40) at T2. The majority scored ≤3 (89.9% caregivers) at T1. The measure demonstrated satisfactory internal consistency at T1 (Cronbach α =. 74) and T2 (α =. 82). Scores at T1 and T2 for a subsample (n = 121) were related (r =. 61, p <. 001). Parents of non-White children tended to report higher depression scores at T1. At T2, being female and greater burn degree were associated with higher depression scores. This brief two-item scale used with caregivers of pediatric burn patients is a reasonable method for screening parental depression in this setting. Given the association between parental depression and child characteristics, further studies are needed, including examination of predictive validity of parental depression with pediatric outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)947-952
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Oct 16 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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