• burn injury;
  • social adjustment;
  • longitudinal study;
  • disaster;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder

ABSTRACT A clinical psychiatric follow-up study of 70 burned adults was performed 3–13 years after the burn injury. The majority of patients had minor injuries. Twenty-three percent suffered from definite psychosocial problems at follow up. Patients with severe injuries more often had problems (44%) than patients with minor injuries (16%). Outcome was not related to premorbid psychopathology except for patients with more severe injuries. A combination of variables describing length of hospital stay, the presence of scars, premorbid psychopathology, experiencing death threat when injured and deviant behaviour during the hospital stay was found to be the best predictor of negative psychosocial outcome (positive predicting power 83%; sensitivity 94%).