Quality of life in paediatric burn patients with non-severe burns

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Abstract

Background: Burns are common worldwide, and the vast majority are non-severe burns of less than 20% of the total body surface area (TBSA). In Australia, paediatric burns account for a third of all burn admissions, thus understanding the quality-of-life outcomes after a non-severe burn in children is important. Methods: This retrospective cohort study describes a paediatric cohort from Western Australia with non-severe burns occurring between 2018 and 2020 and characterises the child's quality-of-life outcomes which is measured using the Paediatric quality of life survey (PedsQL). The PedsQL included a parent-report and child-report assessment, each with a physical function domain and a psychosocial function domain which comprised of an emotional, a social and a school category. Results: Data collected from 249 patients; 50.6% were male, 45.6% were toddlers. The most common cause was scald (48.19%), the majority had burns smaller than 5% TBSA (91.97%), and most included visible areas such as head, neck or hands (77.51%). The parent-report PedsQL scores were significantly different for both physical and psychosocial domains between the different age groups (p = 0.002, p = 0.001, respectively) and for burn cause (p = 0.004, p = 0.005, respectively). For child-reported scores we found evidence of an effect of burn cause across both domains that did not reach a statistical significance (p = 0.076, p = 0.078, respectively). The psychosocial functions in both the parent-report and the self-report were significantly different for the socioeconomic status groups (p = 0.015, p = 0.032, respectively). Quality of life scores were critically low in 16.46% of paediatric burn patients at three months after burn. Conclusion: Parent-reported and child-reported psychosocial function was significantly poorer in higher socioeconomic groups, for older children and for those with flame burns. About 16% of patients had scores below the critical cut off. These data provide insight into the quality-of-life outcomes of paediatric patients with non-severe burns, allowing future studies to investigate burn prevention strategies and services to help paediatric burn patients in their recovery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-232
Number of pages13
JournalBurns
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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