Burns are among the most common injuries to children, and, although survival rates have improved, many burn survivors are left with scars and/or other visible differences, which may be associated with anxiety, depression, and/or low self-esteem. A better understanding of the prevalence and persistence of these problems in child and adolescent burn survivors might lead to an expanded paradigm of care and possibly to better outcomes. The present study provides longitudinal prevalence data for the Appearance Concerns (AC) subscale of the parent-reported Burn Outcomes Questionnaire (BOQ) for 5- to 18-year-old children and identifies patient characteristics associated with higher risk for appearance concerns. Subjects were 799 pediatric burn survivors who were assessed prospectively using the parent-reported BOQ 5-18, which was administered soon after their discharge from acute care and again every 3 to 6 months for up to 4 years. Approximately 20% of all youth were reported to have appearance concerns over the first 2 years, after which the rate declined gradually, falling to around 10% after 3 years. This study showed that such concerns were prevalent and persistent years after burn injuries and suggested that larger burns, facial burns, and country of origin outside of the United States were all associated with higher scores on the AC subscale. These findings highlight the importance of assessing appearance concerns in the long-term care of young burn survivors and suggest that the BOQ 5-18 AC subscale could be used to identify individuals with heightened appearance concerns and to measure their response to interventions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Emergency Medicine