Post-traumatic stress disorder in burn patients – A large database analysis

Nicholas Iglesias, Matthew Steven Campbell, Elissa Dabaghi, Anesh Prasai, Ameerah Ben-Aissa, Deepak Ozhathil, Jayson Jay, Juquan Song, George Golovko, Steven Wolf, Amina El Ayadi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) afflicts a significant portion of burn patients. This study aims to analyze the morbidity, prevalence, and treatment of PTSD in the burn population. Methods: Using the TriNetX database, we identified burned patients > 18 years of age without (A) or with (B) a PTSD diagnosis. Patients were then stratified by percent of total body surface area (TBSA) burned. Morbidity and mortality was analyzed in each cohort. Prevalence and pharmacologic treatments for PTSD were analyzed from 2002 to 2022. Results: PTSD incidence increased from 2.4% (n = 2281) in patients with < 10% to 3.1% (n = 542) in 10–30%, 7.4% (n = 285) in 30–59%, and 5.3% (n = 90) in > 60% TBSA burned. In patients with < 60% TBSA burned, PTSD diagnosis increased the risk of depression (p = <0.0003) and anxiety (p = <0.0001). In those with < 30% TBSA burned, PTSD diagnosis also increased risk of insomnia (p = <0.0001) and pruritus (p = 0.0211 for TBSA <10% and 0.0059 for TBSA 10–29%). PTSD diagnosis was associated with a decreased risk of mortality in patients with > 30% TBSA burned (p = 0.0179 for TBSA 30–59% and p = 0.0089 for TBSA >60%). From 2002 to 2022, the prevalence of PTSD in all burn patients was relatively stable between 2.2% and 3.2%. We found an increase in the use of serotonergic agents and prazosin for the treatment of PTSD during this timeframe. Conclusion: PTSD is not uncommon in the burn population, and those with burns and concomitant PTSD have an increased risk of morbidity. Screening and preventative measures to reduce morbidity and early implementation of care in burned patients with PTSD are indicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Database
  • Large data
  • PTSD
  • Severe burns
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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