Journal:Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):07, 88, 12 Suppl 2, S50-56
To identify barriers to return to work after burn injury as identified by the patient.
A cohort study with telephone interview up to 1 year.
Hospital-based burn centers at 3 national sites.
Hospitalized patients (N=154) meeting the American Burn Association criteria for major burn injury, employed at least 20 hours a week at the time of injury, and with access to a telephone after discharge.
Patients were contacted via telephone every 2 weeks up to 4 months, then monthly up to 1 year after discharge.
Main Outcome Measures
A return to work survey was used to identify barriers that prevented patients from returning to work. A graphic rating scale determined the impact of each barrier.
By 1 year, 79.7% of patients returned to work. Physical and wound issues were barriers early after discharge. Although physical abilities continued to be a significant barrier up to 1 year, working conditions (temperature, humidity, safety) and psychosocial factors (nightmares, flashbacks, appearance concerns) became important issues in those with long-term disability.
The majority of patients return to work after a burn injury. Although physical and work conditions are important barriers, psychosocial issues need to be evaluated and treated to optimize return to work.