Post-traumatic growth and spirituality in burn recovery

Short Title:
Model System:
Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
International Review of Psychiatry
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2009, vol. 21, issue 6, pp 570-9
Publication Website:
For decades, research on long-term adjustment to burn injuries has adopted a deficit model of focusing solely on negative emotions. The presence of positive emotion and the experience of growth in the aftermath of a trauma have been virtually ignored in this field. Researchers and clinicians of other health and trauma populations have frequently observed that, following a trauma, there were positive emotions and growth. This growth occurs in areas such as a greater appreciation of life and changed priorities; warmer, more intimate relations with others; a greater sense of personal strength, recognition of new possibilities, and spiritual development. In addition, surveys of trauma survivors report that spiritual or religious beliefs played an important part in their recovery and they wished more healthcare providers were comfortable talking about these issues. Further evidence suggests that trauma survivors who rely on spiritual or religious beliefs for coping may show a greater ability for post-traumatic growth (PTG). This article reviews the literature on these two constructs as it relates to burn survivors. We also provide recommendations for clinicians on how to create an environment that fosters PTG and encourages patients to explore their spiritual and religious beliefs in the context of the trauma.
Wiechman Askay, S., Magyar-Russel, G.
Author Address(es):
Participating Centers:

Some items may be available for document delivery from the National Rehabilitation Information Center. Make a note of the title and any accession number and contact NARIC at 800-346-2742 to request a copy. There is a charge for document delivery from the NARIC collection.