man holding resume

What is the study about?

This study looked at differences in long-term employment outcomes for burn survivors who received post-acute care. Post-acute care (PAC) settings are facilities that provide rehabilitation or palliative services after a stay in an acute care hospital. For example, PACs include skilled nursing facilities, long-term care hospitals, and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRF). Returning to work is an important goal related to long-term functionality and quality of life for burn survivors. However many burn survivors experience significant challenges that can delay or prevent full recovery and a return to their previous lifestyle, including resuming work. Burn survivors with complex medical and rehabilitation needs often transition to PAC settings after discharge from the burn unit.

What did the study find?

Researchers found that burn survivors who were admitted to an IRF had larger burns, were more likely to have an inhalation injury , and to undergo amputation compared to survivors who were treated at a skilled nursing facility, long-term care hospital, or other extended-care facility (i.e., Other Rehab group). Moreover, survivors who were treated at an IRF had over 9 times increased odds of being employed (i.e., they were more likely to be employed) compared to the Other Rehab group at one year after injury. Even though IRFs admitted patients with more severe injuries, IRFs provided a long-term benefit for survivors of burn injury regarding employment.

Who participated in the study?

The study included 695 adult survivors of burn injury (IRF group, N=447; Other Rehab group, N=248) enrolled between May 1994 and June 2016 who required post-acute care at a Burn Model System center.

How was the study conducted?

Researchers looked at employment status at 12 months post injury. Statistical analyses (propensity score matching and logistic regression) were used to determine the effect of post-acute care setting on employment status.

How can people use the results?

Burn survivors and their families can use these results to improve their understanding of how the type of PAC setting can impact a survivor’s future employment. Researchers and clinicians can use these results to further explore the potential beneficial effects of IRF intensive services on patient outcomes.


Leda, F., Espinoza, B. A., Simko, L. C., Goldstein, R., McMullen, K. A., Slocum, C., ... Schneider, J. C. (2019). Post-acute care setting is associated with employment after burn injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 100(11), 2015-2021. []


The contents of this quick review were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPKT0009). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this quick review do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.