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Trends 10 Years after Burn Injury: A Burn Model System National Database Study

What is the study about?

When it comes to reports on outcomes after a burn injury, most focus on quality of life shortly after the injury. This study aims to determine whether quality of life is still a concern ten years after injury. To do this, the study reports findings from the Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief (BSHS-B), which was developed to measure long-term outcomes of adult burn survivors.

What did the study find?

Results indicate there can be long-term effects on quality of life 10 years after injury that can benefit from support. For example, the study found that females continue to have concerns about body image and interpersonal relationships at 10 years after injury and that long-term medical and psychosocial support may benefit some aspects of recovery.

How was the study conducted?

BSHS-B and other longitudinal burn injury data was collected through in-person and telephone interviews or return mail. All data were entered into an electronic database. The BSHS-B is 40 questions across nine domains that represent simple abilities, heat sensitivity, hand function, treatment regimens, body image, affect, interpersonal relations and sexuality.). Responses to the items range from 0 to 4 with lower scores indicating poorer quality of life. Median scores were calculated, and differences were analyzed.

Who participated in the study?

A cohort of burn survivors were followed between 1994 and 2006. Eligibility for this ten-year study included 1) enrollment in a Burn Model System research program; 2) 16 years or older at time of study; 3) able to provide verbal or written consent, or parental consent for participants under the age of 18.

How can people use the results?

For burn survivors, some aspects of health may be affected long after injury. Doctors and burn survivors can use these results to consider using additional interventions to target burn specific aspects of health to restore quality of life.


Chin, T. L., Carrougher, G. J., Amtmann, D., McMullen, K., Herndon, D. N., Holavanahalli, R., . . . Gibran, N. S. (2018). Trends 10 years after burn injury: A Burn Model System National Database study. Burns, 44(8), 1882-1886. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2018.09.033

Link to Abstract

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 90DP0082). 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.