Suicidality after burn injuries: A systematic review

Sheera F Lerman, Scott Sylvester, C Scott Hultman, Julie A Caffrey
Journal of Burn Care & Research: Official Publication of the American Burn Association 2021 January 22
Burn survivors may be at increased risk for suicide due to the nature of their injury and psychiatric comorbidities. The purpose of this review is to assess the evidence as to the prevalence of suicidal ideations and behaviors (attempts and completed suicides) in burn survivors as well as evaluate risk and protective factors. PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane, PsycINFO and Web Science databases were searched using search terms regarding suicide, suicidality and burn. Fourteen full text manuscripts and two published abstracts were included in the review. Overall, burn survivors demonstrate elevated suicidal ideations and higher lifetime prevalence of suicide attempts compared to the general population. There is mixed evidence as to rates of completed suicide post-burn injury, though rates appear to be relatively low. Risk factors include pain at discharge, perceived level of disfigurement, premorbid psychiatric comorbidities and past suicide attempts. Results of this systematic review shed light on the scarcity of data on rates of suicidality among burn survivors which is surprising given the multiple risk factors burn survivors possess including chronic pain, sleep disturbances, history of substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder, social isolation and depression which are linked to suicidality in the general population. Suicide risk screening should be included as an integral part burn survivors' care and more research is needed to better understand the magnitude of this phenomena and offer targeted interventions to vulnerable individuals.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"