This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Employment After Burn Injury. Peter C. Esselman, MD, researcher, discusses, BMS Research On Barriers to Returning To Work.

PETER ESSELMAN: I think when you look at -- in research that we’ve done, looking at barriers to return to work after a burn injury, uh, we did a study to really look out to a year, and had the patients, the individuals with the burn injuries, identify, What were the barriers that they were recognizing preventing them from returning to work? And the results were kind of interesting. That early on, after the burn injury, you know, there are issues with the, the wounds, the scars, and the healing. Uh, there are issues with, physical issues with that. There are issues with uh, work conditions, the, that the work environment, the work conditions are too harsh, with that. And by and large, what we found out, that over the first six months, over the year, for those individuals who were still not back at work, at eight, nine months after their burn injury, those wound issues kinda decrease, the physical issues decrease, and a lot of it was that psycho-social issues that were coming in at that time. People were reporting that they were uh, having nightmares, they were afraid to go back to their work place. Uh, they were reporting uh, symptoms of depression, and some of those psychological issues come in then. So I think it’s important to recognize that early on, we focus on the physical issues so much, uh, but at some point, it’s more the psychological issues, and uh, sometimes counseling, psychological support, is really what’s needed at that time, to get somebody back to work.

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