A Qualitative Analysis of Burn Injury Patient and Caregiver Experiences in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: Enduring the Transition to a Post-Burn Life

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A Qualitative Analysis of Burn Injury Patient and Caregiver Experiences in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa: Enduring the Transition to a Post-Burn Life


JournalEuropean Burn Journal
Publication date – Jul – 2021
Authors – Camerin A. Rencken ,Abigail D. Harrison ,Adam R. Aluisio ,Nikki Allorto
KeywordsBurn injury, Global Health, lived experiences, rehabilitation, South Africa
Open access – Yes
SpecialityHealth policy, Plastic surgery, Trauma surgery
World region Southern Africa
Country: South Africa
Language – English
Submitted to the One Surgery Index on July 11, 2021 at 1:42 am
Abstract:

Over 95% of fire-related burns occur in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), an important and frequently overlooked global health disparity, yet research is limited from LMICs on how survivors and their caregivers recover and successfully return to their pre-burn lives. This study examines the lived experiences of burn patients and caregivers, the most challenging aspects of their recoveries, and factors that have assisted in recovery. This qualitative study was conducted in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa at a 900-bed district hospital. Participants (n = 35) included burn patients (n = 13) and caregivers (n = 22) after discharge. In-depth interviews addressed the recovery process after a burn injury. Data were coded using NVivo 12. Analysis revealed three major thematic categories. Coded data were triangulated to analyze caregiver and patient perspectives jointly. The participants’ lived experiences fell into three main categories: (1) psychological impacts of the burn, (2) enduring the transition into daily life, and (3) reflections on difficulties survivors face in returning for aftercare. The most notable discussions regarded stigma, difficulty accepting self-image, loss of relationships, returning to work, and barriers in receiving long-term aftercare at the hospital outpatient clinic. Patients and caregivers face significant adversities integrating into society. This study highlights areas in which burn survivors may benefit from assistance to inform future interventions and international health policy.

OSI Number – 21169

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