Short Title:Journal of Burn Care And Research (formerly Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation)
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):15, 36, 1, 151-158
Study examined the characteristics of postburn itch and associated symptoms in the pediatric population. A retrospective review was conducted of 430 pediatric burn survivors who were enrolled in the Burn Model System program from 2006 to 2013. Demographic data, injury characteristics, associated symptoms (skin-related problems, pain, and sleep), and incidence and intensity (Numerical Rating Scale) of itch were examined. Measures were completed at hospital discharge and at 6, 12, and 24 months after injury. Spearman’s correlations were used to examine the correlation between itch intensity and associated symptoms. Multivariate regression analyses examined the impact of associated symptoms on itch intensity. There were 430 pediatric burn survivors with a mean age of 7.8 years and a mean total body surface area burned of 40.8 percent. Pruritus is present in most children (93 percent) and is of moderate intensity (5.7) at discharge. The frequency and intensity of pruritus decreases over time; a majority of children continue to report symptoms at 2 years (63 percent). Itch was significantly correlated with associated symptoms. Regression analyses showed a correlation between itch intensity and pain at each time point. There was no association between itch intensity and burn etiology, age, gender, or burn size. The findings suggest that pruritus is a frequent complication that lasts for at least 2 years after injury in a majority of pediatric burn survivors. This information will enable better tracking of outcomes and will serve as a baseline for assessing interventions.