Scar formation is an important adverse consequence of burns. How patients appraise their scar quality is often studied shortly after sustaining the injury, but information in the long-term is scarce. Our aim was, therefore, to evaluate longterm patient-reported quality of burn scars. Adults with a burn center admission of ≥1 day between August 2011 and September 2012 were invited to complete a questionnaire on long-term consequences of burns. We enriched this sample with patients with severe burns (>20% total body surface area [TBSA] burned or TBSA full thickness >5%) treated between January 2010 and March 2013. Self-reported scar quality was assessed with the Patient Scale of the Patient and Observer Scar Assessment Scale (POSAS). Patients completed this scale for their—in their opinion—most severe scar ≥5 years after burns. This study included 251 patients with a mean %TBSA burned of 10%. The vast majority (91.4%) reported at least minor differences with normal skin (POSAS item score ≥2) on one or more scar characteristics and 78.9% of the patients’ overall opinion was that their scar deviated from normal skin. Patients with severe burns had higher POSAS scores, representing worse scar quality, than patients with mild/intermediate burns, except for color, which was high in both groups. A longer hospital stay predicted reduced scar quality (both mean POSAS and mean overall opinion of the scar) in multivariate analyses. In addition, female gender was also associated with a poorer overall opinion of the scar. In conclusion, this study provides new insights in long-term scar quality. Scars differed from normal skin in a large part of the burn population more than 5 years after burns, especially in those with severe burns. Female gender is associated with a poorer patients’ overall opinion of their scar, which may be an indication of gender differences in perception of scar quality after burns.

Additional Metadata
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1111/wrr.12709, hdl.handle.net/1765/118205
Journal Wound Repair and Regeneration
Citation
Spronk, I., Polinder, S, Haagsma, J.A, Nieuwenhuis, M.H, Pijpe, A, van der Vlies, C.H, … van Baar, M.E. (2019). Patient-reported scar quality of adults after burn injuries: A five-year multicenter follow-up study. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 27(4), 406–414. doi:10.1111/wrr.12709