Anxiety in recovery from severe burn injury: An experimental comparison

N. J. Hulbert-Williams, S. L. Hulbert-Williams, D. McIlroy, B. Bunting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Adjustment to burn injury is a slow process that often results in high distress and anxiety. This study aimed to investigate the impact on anxiety of viewing various types of photographic stimuli (including burn injuries), comparing a burn-injured and control sample. An experimental design was used comparing those recovering from a burn injury with age- and gender-matched controls. Thirty participants from a burns support group and their matched controls were asked to complete a trait anxiety measure (STAI Y-2). Participants then completed the state anxiety measure (STAI Y-1) after viewing different types of photographic stimuli (burn injuries, uninjured body parts, neutral) under controlled experimental conditions. Results demonstrated significant differences in anxiety levels between groups with respect to trait anxiety and state anxiety after each experimental condition. Age of injury was also found to be a significant influence over trait anxiety. A significant effect of experimental condition was found, as was a significant interaction between group and condition. Those with burn injuries were more anxious than controls - a difference that was further exaggerated when participants viewed photographs of burned or uninjured body parts in an experimental setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)162-167
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2008


  • Anxiety
  • Burns
  • Disfigurement
  • Social norms

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