Suicidality after burn injuries: A significant overlooked challenge in burns survivors

Article Type : Correspondence

Authors

1 Department of Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS), Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Medical-Surgical Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

To the Editor

Burns are among the most common and deadly medical conditions worldwide [1-6]. The world health organization estimates that 180,000 people die from burns each year, most of which occur in low- and middle-income countries [7]. Burn victims have psychology annually from burns at several levels [8-10]. These difficulties may result from an unwarranted focus on the family, financial difficulties, ridicule, obstacles to marriage, decreased social interaction, and employment opportunities [10, 11]. These elements and physical changes in patients might result in immediate and long-term issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, sadness, and anxiety, which may be linked to suicide ideation [12]. Hence, a systematic review demonstrated that, despite differences in the research's precise numerical findings, those with a history of burns are more likely to commit suicide than the general population [12]. When all of these factors are considered together, burn injuries are one of the main risk factors for suicide [13]. Another study in Taiwan found that, despite reducing psychological symptoms during the first two years after the burn, these symptoms do not go away until years after the accident and need care [13]. A study by Edward et al. showed that the prevalence of passive and active suicide ideation in burn patients was 17% and 15%, respectively [14]. According to a study by Goodhew et al., 14% of interviewees considered harming themselves, and 10% admitted that they would be better off dead [15]. Furthermore, based on another study by Stoddard et al., 43% of burn patients had suicidal thoughts [16].

In sum, the findings of the studies have revealed some contradictions regarding suicide. The scarcity of research on burn suicide numbers, the importance of the topic, and the diversity of the findings all point to the need for additional research on the subject. More importantly, no research has looked explicitly into preventing suicide in burn patients. However, the causes of these people's psychological problems are diverse, and each one must be addressed separately. Because of the high prevalence of psychiatric issues among these patients, health systems must monitor their mental states and risk factors for suicide, such as low self-esteem and sadness.

 

Acknowledgements

Not applicable.

 

Authors’ contributions

Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work: AD, AMB, AZK, MJG; Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content: AD, AMB, AZK, MJG; Final approval of the version to be published: AD, AMB, AZK, MJG; Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved: AD, AMB, AZK, MJG.

 

Funding

Self-funded.

 

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Not applicable.

 

Competing interests

We do not have potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and publication of this article.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (CC BY-NC 4.0).

© 2023 The Author(s).

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Volume 1, Issue 2
July 2023
Pages 104-105
  • Receive Date: 15 March 2023
  • Revise Date: 22 May 2023
  • Accept Date: 18 June 2023
  • First Publish Date: 27 July 2023
  • Publish Date: 27 July 2023