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Planned informational and supportive nursing interventions to reduce the effects of treatment stress in burn patients Peeling, Barbara Joan

Abstract

Stress associated with treatments is a potential cause of anxiety in the burn patient. This descriptive study examined the emotional reactions to the effects of treatment stress in five adult burn victims during hospitalization. The purpose of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of an instructional program providing treatment information followed by psychological support in reducing the effects of treatment stress in burn patients. Identification and accumulation of information about anxiety producing stressors during hospitalization as perceived by the burn patients was one outcome of the study. The instructional program included an audio-visual teaching program depicting various treatments in burn care followed by a discussion between the investigator and the patient. The design of the study was a one group pre-test, multiple post-test approach. Several variables within the group were compared from two perspectives. Correlational statistics were applied to indicate the relationship of these variables in the reality of the ongoing situation of burn care. Briefly, the null hypotheses challenged were: 1. There is no measurable change in trait anxiety over unit time ..... 2. There is no measurable reduction of state anxiety over unit time ….. 3. There is no measurable increase in hours of sleep over unit time ….. 4. There is no measurable reduction in expressed need for analgesic and sedative medication over unit time ….. 5. There is no measurable indication of increased reported well-being over unit time ..... 6. There is no correlation between the nurses' assessment of the patients trait anxiety level and the trait anxiety measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventories. 7. There is no correlation between the nurses' assessment of the patients' state anxiety and the state anxiety measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventories. Date collecting instruments measured the variables of objective and subjective stress. Such variables were state and trait anxiety, quantity of sleep and need for medication. Analysis of the data revealed that there was a distinct trend to reduction in state anxiety and little change in trait anxiety during hospitalization. However, there was no measurable increase in the hours of sleep and no measurable decrease in expressed need for medication. Patients' comments in the daily diaries, as well as other indicators of the helpfulness of the instructional program and psychological support, were another source of evidence that planned informational and supportive nursing interventions reduced that anxiety attributable to the effects of treatment stress. Furthermore, there were many anxiety producing stressors during hospitalization as perceived by these patients. Generally, the stressors were associated with burn treatment and patient-nurse relationships. Trends and phases of recovery were seen among all these patients throughout the entire data collection period. The findings of the study indicated that even less severely burned patients suffer intense psychological response to burn injury. Planned nursing interventions, provided by a person not responsible for daily physical care, was perceived by the patients under study as reducing that anxiety attributable to the effects of treatment stress.

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