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Do Burn Centers Provide Juvenile Firesetter Intervention?

Ahrns-Klas, Karla S. BSN, RN; Wahl, Wendy L. MD, FACS; Hemmila, Mark R. MD, FACS; Wang, Stewart C. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/BCR.0b013e3182331d34
Original Articles

Juvenile firesetting activity accounts for a significant number of annual injuries and property damage, yet there is sparse information on intervention in the burn literature. To quantify juvenile firesetting intervention (JFSI) in burn centers, a 23-question survey was sent to all directors listed in the American Burn Association Burn Care Facilities Directory. Sixty-four out of 112 (57%) surveys were returned. This represents responses from 79% of currently verified burn centers. When queried on interventions provided to a juvenile firesetter admitted to their unit, 38% report having their own JFSI program and 38% refer the child to fire services. Two thirds of units without a JFSI program treat pediatric patients. Units that previously had a JFSI program report lack of staffing and funding as most common reasons for program discontinuation. Almost all (95%) stated that a visual tool demonstrating legal, financial, social, future, and career ramifications associated with juvenile firesetting would be beneficial to their unit. Many burn units that treat pediatric patients do not have JFSI and rely on external programs operated by fire services. Existing JFSI programs vary greatly in structure and method of delivery. Burn centers should be involved in JFSI, and most units would benefit from a new video toolkit to assist in providing appropriate JFSI. Study results highlight a need for burn centers to collaborate on evaluating effectiveness of JFSI programs and providing consistent intervention materials based on outcomes research.

From the Trauma Burn Center, University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor.

Presented, in part, as an oral presentation at the 42nd Annual American Burn Association Meeting, Boston, MA, March 2010.

Address correspondence to Karla Ahrns-Klas, RN, University of Michigan Trauma Burn Center, 1500 E. Medical Center Dr. UH1C436A, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-5033.

© 2012 The American Burn Association