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Psychological Consequences of Burns: Long Term Rehabilitation

During this phase the patient is discharged from the hospital and starts to reenter and reintegrate into life and society. Interacting with family members, friends and the rest of the community may be difficult at first. The patient may be used to the hospital environment, leaving the hospital; they will have the fear of being rejected by the community because of their change in appearance or abilities. Other issues that face the patient during this stage are dealing with returning to work, changing their image and resuming sexual activities. Patients may develop anxiety and depression as a result of these issues.

Going through rehabilitation, exercises, dressing changes, pressure garment use, amputations, scarring and itching may all have an effect on the patient emotionally and physically.

Treatment provided in this stage begins before discharge by explaining and preparing the patient and family for the difficulties anticipated after discharge. Outpatient counseling, social skill training and support groups play a role in recovery. Family and friends’ support and the patient’s willingness to engage himself/ herself in society play an important role in recovery.

People are creative and can devise ways of achieving their goals when they receive the encouragement and support needed. Some patients may need more time than others to achieve their goals but every survivor can do it. Progress step by step with optimism and the right attitude, anyone can definitely get through anything.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

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