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Amanda Lange, MS, OTR/L

Lenin C. Grajo, PhD, OTR/L


Adolescents with burn injury are vulnerable to psychosocial dysfunction because of the complex nature of their neurobiological, cognitive, and interpersonal changes that occur during this developmental stage. Physical differences in appearance also make these adolescents prone to peer bullying and at further risk for social functioning challenges. These social functioning challenges may involve underlying difficulties with cognitive functions needed to support adaptive social functioning and can present as social isolation, inappropriate social behaviors, or social anxiety. Promoting social participation is a recognized intervention to support positive mental health and is necessary for identity formation during transition into adulthood. This guideline describes assessment and intervention for adolescents with burn injury to improve adaptive capacities and facilitate social participation. Assessment of social-cognitive skills, resilience, and behavioral indicators of adaptive social functioning are discussed. A cognitive-approach to intervention is also described. The goal of this guideline is to enable occupational therapists to provide psychosocial assessment and intervention to adolescents with burn injury. We hope that this guideline is an impetus for evidence-based practice on the role occupational therapists can contribute to promote interdisciplinary collaboration and provide more comprehensive patient care for this population.


The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.