Identification of factors predicting scar outcome after burn injury in children: a prospective case-control study

Hilary J. Wallace, Mark W. Fear, Margaret M. Crowe, Lisa J. Martin, Fiona M. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: There is a lack of rigorous research investigating the factors that influence scar outcome in children. Improved clinical decision-making to reduce the health burden due to post-burn scarring in children will be guided by evidence on risk factors and risk stratification. This study aimed to examine the association between selected patient, injury and clinical factors and the development of raised scar after burn injury. Novel patient factors were investigated including selected immunological co-morbidities (asthma, eczema and diabetes type 1 and type 2) and skin pigmentation (Fitzpatrick skin type).

Methods: A prospective case-control study was conducted among 186 children who sustained a burn injury in Western Australia. Logistic regression was used to explore the relationship between explanatory variables and a defined outcome measure: scar height measured by a modified Vancouver Scar Scale (mVSS).

Results: The overall correct prediction rate of the model was 80.6%; 80.9% for children with raised scars (> 1 mm) and 80.4% for children without raised scars (

Conclusions: Greater burn surface area, time to healing of longer than 14 days, and multiple operations are independently associated with raised scar in children after burn injury. Scar prevention strategies should be targeted to children with these risk factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number19
Number of pages13
JournalBurns & Trauma
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2017

Cite this