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J Trauma Acute Care Surg. 2013 Apr;74(4):1119-24; discussion 1124. doi: 10.1097/TA.0b013e318283cca0.

Burn-specific health 2 years to 7 years after burn injury.

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Department of Neuroscience Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden.



Knowledge concerning the pattern of recovery and predictors of burn-specific health years after burn injury is limited, and these factors were therefore assessed with a disease-specific instrument, the Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief.


Consecutive adult burn patients were prospectively included during hospitalization and assessed at 3, 6, and 12 months as well as at 2 years to 7 years (4.6 years on average) after burn. Data concerning injury characteristics, sociodemographic variables, psychiatric disorders, and burn-specific health were obtained.


Burn-specific health improved over time, from 6 months to the final assessment after burn. At 2 years to 7 years after burn, most problems were reported in the subscales heat sensitivity, body image, and work. The regression analyses revealed that length of stay, any preburn psychiatric disorder, major depression, and posttraumatic stress disorder 12 months after burn were predictors of long-term burn-specific health in the affect and relations domain, whereas time since injury, length of stay, and major depression 12 months after burn predicted outcome in the skin involvement domain. Predictors for the subscale work were length of stay, working at the time of injury, and posttraumatic stress disorder at 12 months.


This study underscores that significant improvement in postburn health can be expected even later than 2 years after injury. Furthermore, the results imply that both preburn factors and factors identified 1 year after burn have impact on burn-specific health after several years.


Level III.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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