Title. Providing psychosocial and physical rehabilitation advice for patients with burns.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study evaluating the perceived skills of nursing and allied healthcare professionals in providing psychosocial and physical rehabilitation advice, including the effect of years of burn injury experience.
Background. Recovery from burn injuries is a complex mix of physical and psychosocial rehabilitation, yet research in the UK has demonstrated that healthcare professionals feel more competent at giving advice to patients on issues of physical rehabilitation than psychosocial rehabilitation.
Methods. This was a replication study with a cross-sectional design. A questionnaire survey was conducted with a convenience sample of healthcare professionals in a large urban hospital with specialist burn and plastic services in New Zealand. The data were collected in 2005.
Results. Consistent with the UK results, New Zealand healthcare professionals rated their skills in advising patients about physical items of burn rehabilitation higher than their skills for psychosocial items. Years of experience working with burns was related to greater perceived skill in advising patients on physical rehabilitation. In contrast, no relationship between years of experience and perceived skill in the provision of psychosocial rehabilitation advice was found.
Conclusion. Strategies to enhance effective staff/patient communication should form an integral part of staff education. The psychosocial needs of patients must be incorporated as an essential part of such strategies.