Symptoms of depression predict change in physical health after burn injury

Brett D. Thombs, Melissa G. Bresnick, Gina Magyar-Russell, John W. Lawrence, Una D. McCann, James A. Fauerbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


This study investigated the prevalence of symptoms of depression in patients hospitalized with severe burns and the association of symptoms of depression in the hospital with physical health 2 months after discharge, controlling for pre-burn physical health as measured by the SF-36 physical composite score. Survivors of acute burns were evaluated during the hospitalization (N = 262) and at 1 week (N = 165) and 2 months (N = 100) after discharge. The prevalence of at least mild to moderate symptoms of depression (Beck Depression Inventory ≥ 10) ranged from 23% to 26%. In-hospital symptoms of depression predicted change in physical health from pre-burn to 2 months post-discharge (p = .02), controlling for patient demographics, burn severity, and symptoms of PTSD. These results suggest that patients should be screened for depression, both in-hospital and during rehabilitation after discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-298
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Burn
  • Depression
  • Physical function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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