Introduction: The issues and concerns that emerge in the families of burn patients have received minimal attention. Objective: To map out what is known about the challenges facing the family members of burn patients. Methods: The review followed the PRISMA Extension guidelines for scoping reviews and the review approach by Arksey and O'Malley to synthesize the available evidence. Twenty-six (26) papers from various database searches were identified and included in the review. The citation retrieval and retention methods are reported in a PRISMA statement. Results: Although most of the studies included parents (n = 21), the evidence suggests that the shared concerns of family members include taking on new roles, and psychosocial and financial issues. Uniquely, parents had to endure blame, shame and guilt; partners/spouses were faced with difficulties in re-establishing an emotional connection with the patient; siblings simultaneously expressed jealousy and feelings of being outsiders; and children with a burn parent had to deal with feelings of exclusion from the care delivery process. Aside from these individuals, friends, neighbours and in-laws may also assume a caregiving role, with grandparents playing a supporting role. Family members are unprepared for their roles, as they are forced into them suddenly. Although distress may occur among family members, its determinants, severity, pattern and recovery process remain unclear. Conclusion: A burn is a family injury that creates the need for family-centred care. Future studies need to explore the nature of psychological distress, family members’ recovery pathways, and how family members can prepare for their roles in the period after discharge.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine