Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Jan Stube


Adolescent; Burns -- psychology; Self Concept


Self-esteem is a problem that adolescent burn survivors deal with on a daily basis. Yet, there is limited research regarding adolescent burns and the psychosocial aspect within their daily occupations. The purpose of this scholarly project was to develop and provide occupational therapists with interventions and outcome measures to utilize in a Self-Esteem Program for implementation in both inpatient and outpatient settings. This program focuses on helping adolescents to regain their self-esteem and confidence when returning back to their communities. Burns have an emotional and behavioral effect on children/adolescents, causing anxiety, pain, distorted self-image, and depression (Pardo, Garcia, Marrero, & Cia, 2008). Occupational therapy would be beneficial to adolescent burn survivors in facilitating a smooth transition back into the community.

A comprehensive literature review was conducted focusing on adolescents 10-21 years of age who experienced a burn injury that affected their daily activities and social participation. A literature review, including occupational therapy theoretical and practice literature, guided the Self-Esteem Program developed for adolescents who have experienced burns and are returning back into the community. The articles included in the literature review were retrieved from PubMed, CINAHL, Google Scholar, The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, and selected professional textbooks.

A Self-Esteem Program based on the Occupational Adaptation Model (Schkade & McClung, 2001) was developed for implementation by occupational therapists employed by inpatient or outpatient burn care settings. The target audience is adolescents who have experienced burns and are returning back into the community. In this program, occupational therapists provide client and caregiver education so both audiences may have a better understanding of burn injuries and the recovery process.

Occupational therapy (OT) offers many benefits to adolescents who have been injured by burns. Goals for interventions that OT provides within the program include: increasing adolescent’s self-esteem, social interaction, assertiveness, and successful reintegration back into their communities. This program is expected to assist adolescents in the realistic analysis of life situations, application of the self-esteem techniques provided within the program, with the anticipation of an improved psychosocial outcome following burn injury. Interventions and outcomes are directed toward increasing the adolescents’ psychosocial skills for adaptation following burn injury.