Psychological Reactions, Social Support, and Coping Styles in Pakistani Female Burn Survivors

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This study was aimed to explore the level of psychological distress and posttraumatic stress among female burn survivors in Pakistan. It was also intended to study the kind of social support available to these burn survivors in a society where women right violation is common. The sample consisted of 35 female burn victims selected from two hospitals. General Health Questionnaire, posttraumatic stress disorder Checklist-Specific, and Social Support Scale were used to measure study variables in addition to a short open-ended questionnaire to identify coping strategies of these burn survivors. Consistent with the hypothesis, results found a high level of psychological reaction among female burn survivors. About one-quarter of the sample (23%) presented severe symptoms of psychological distress whereas 20% of the sample reported to experience severe posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms. There was a significant inverse relationship between psychological reactions and social support as hypothesized. Majority of female burn victims found to use emotion-focused coping (EFC) mainly including prayers, emotional discourse, and using drugs. The findings of the study would be helpful to plastic surgeons, dermatologists, psychologists, and social workers to understand the patient’s psychological reactions, their copying styles, and the role of social support in the rehabilitation program for these survivors.

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