Burn injuries are devastating, sudden and unpredictable forms of trauma which affect the victim both physically and psychologically. Depression is one of the psychological complications that follow burn patients which has an effect on physical functioning and recovery on the burn survivor. While, modern treatments developed in the last 60 years have significantly improved the outcome of large burns which can be fatal, especially in children and young adults, little emphasis has been put in respect of psychological treatment thus, leaving the patients with both physical and psychological disabilities. OBJECTIVE The objective of this study was to establish the prevalence of depression among patients with burns admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital. SITE The study was carried out at KNH. burns’ unit and Ward 4D which cater for burn patients. STUDY DESIGN The study design for this research was a cross-sectional descriptive study. STUDY POPULATION & SAMPLING METHOD The study participants were in-patients with burns who were 18 years of age and above, who gave consent and those who were medically stable. The Sample population was made up of 101 patients, computed on a three month admission record, of which 55 were recruited. Purposive sampling method was used. DATA ANALYSIS Data was analyzed using SPSS Version 17.0: descriptive statistics was used and data presented in tables, pie charts and graphs. INSTRUMENTS; A structured socio-demographic questionnaire & Beck’s Depression Inventory scale were used to assess for depression. RESULTS The data was analyzed according to SPSS Version 17 and presented at 95% confidence interval. Fifty five participants were recruited in the study, 30 patients were male (54.4%), and 25 were female (45.5%). The mean age was 31.5 years. Depression was found in 47(85.5%) of the patients, 6 (10.9%) had mild depression, 26 (47.3%) had moderate and 15(27.3%) had severe depression. Flame burns caused by stove and kerosene lamp were most common. Depression was associated to the length of hospital stay with p-value of 0.011 and the level of income earned by the patient with a p-value 0.014. CONCLUSION Depression was present in 47 (85.5%) of patients following burn injury. This study shows the importance of psychological assessment during treatment of burn patients and hence holistic treatment following burn injury.
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