Appearance Anxiety, Health-Related Quality of Life and Coping Strategies among Burn Patients in Pakistan


  • Jaweria Aftab Department of Humanities, Education, and Psychology, Air University, Islamabad
  • Ansa Qurat-ul-ain Assistant Professor, Department of Humanities, Education, and Psychology, Air University, Islamabad
  • Muhammad Rehan Post- Graduate Resident Burns Surgery
  • Fahama Qamar Department of Humanities, Education, and Psychology, Air University, Islamabad
  • Tariq Iqbal Consultant/HOD Burns Surgery Department



Burns, Social Appearance Anxiety, Scars, Quality of life, Coping Styles


Burn injuries have a significant impact on patients, their families, and society as a whole, affecting them physically, psychologically, and financially. The majority of burn injuries occur in low- and middle-income countries, where the burden is especially high. Living with burn scars in a society that emphasizes beauty can be challenging for individuals affected by these injuries. Burn scars often lead to functional impairment and disfigurement, significantly impacting daily activities and social interactions. To cope with the distressing situation, individuals employ various coping mechanisms. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the coping styles utilized by burn patients to manage appearance anxiety and identify potential targets for psychological interventions that can enhance their quality of life. The study included 92 patients who had been discharged from the Burn Care Centre (PIMS) in Islamabad and were followed up. These patients had visible scars resulting from burn injuries. Data collection involved the use of the Brief COPE Questionnaire (BCOPE), Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaire (HR-QOL), and Social Appearance Anxiety Scale (SAAS). Data were evaluated using percentage and regression analyses. The average age range of the participants was 27.5+32.5. Mediation analysis found that social appearance anxiety had a non-significant direct impact on health-related quality of life. These findings highlight the importance of emotion-focused coping strategies in mitigating the impact of social appearance anxiety on the quality of life of burn patients. They also provide valuable insights for the development of psychological interventions aimed at improving the well-being of individuals living with visible differences resulting from burn injuries.