Health Sciences Program Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Health Science

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Health Care Sciences – Health Science Department

First Advisor

Elliot Sklar

Second Advisor

Akiva Turner

Third Advisor

Susan Smith

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: This investigator sought to enhance medical knowledge and clinical care by distinguishing the population level characteristics of patients who attempted self-immolation within the burn population and determine the impact these patients have on health-care related resource utilization. Methods: Patients who met the inclusion criteria and were admitted for a documented attempt of self-immolation were case-matched based on age, gender, total body surface area burn, inhalation injury, and burn mechanism to individuals who experienced accidental burn injuries and were admitted to the burn unit during the same time-period. To compare patients, this investigator matched patient groups using a propensity score method. Results: Seventy-two total patients, including matched pairs, were selected after propensity scoring. Self-immolation patients had a significant difference in preexisting history of depression (p = .008), psychiatric disease (p = .028) and previous psychiatric treatment (p < .001) as compared to accidental burn injury patients. They were also more likely to present with a history of anxiety (OR = 1.8), drug abuse (OR = 2.5) and alcohol abuse (OR = 2.8). Longer length of stay and the need for more specialty consult services visits (p = .002), and higher rates of complications (p = .013) were also found among self-immolation patients. Self-immolation patients were twice as likely to experience greater burn depth with differences in full thickness burn admissions (OR = 2.2). Self-immolation patients required more concomitant surgical procedures than accidental burn injury patients (p = .024) and were nearly three times as likely to be readmitted (OR = 2.82) to the hospital with longer hospital stays during readmission in comparison with accidental burn patients (15 days vs. 9 days). Conclusion: Self-immolation patients had distinguishable differences in patient levelcharacteristics and utilized more burn unit health-related resources as compared to matched accidental burn injury patients.


Other Medicine and Health Sciences


Population level, Self-immolation, Burn unit resources