The objective was to determine long-term psychological distress and quality of life (QOL) in young adult survivors of pediatric burns using the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale II (WHODAS) and the Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief (BSHS-B). Fifty burn survivors 2.5 to 12.5 years postburn (16-21.5 years old; 56% male, 82% Hispanic) completed the WHODAS and BSHS-B. The WHODAS measures health and disability and the BSHS-B measures psychosocial and physical difficulties. Scores were calculated for each instrument, and then grouped by years postburn, TBSA, sex, burn age, and survey age to compare the effects of each. Next, the instruments were compared with each other. The WHODAS disability score mean was 14.4 ± 2.1. BSHS-B domain scores ranged from 3 to 3.7. In general, as TBSA burned increased, QOL decreased. Female burn survivors, survivors burned prior to school entry, and adolescents who had yet to transition into adulthood reported better QOL than their counterparts. In all domains except Participation, the WHODAS consistently identified more individuals with lower QOL than the BSHS-B. Young adult burn survivors' QOL features more disability than their nonburned counterparts, but score in the upper 25% for QOL on the BSHS-B. This analysis revealed the need for long-term psychosocial intervention for survivors with larger TBSA, males, those burned after school entry, and those transitioning into adulthood. Both instruments are useful tools for assessing burn survivors' QOL and both should be given as they discern different individuals. However, the WHODAS is more sensitive than the BSHS-B in identifying QOL issues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine