The aim of our study was to assess prevalence and correlates related to sub optimal outcome after pediatric burns and to make a comparison with pediatric injuries not related to burns. We conducted a cross-sectional study on quality of life (QOL) after burns in a sample (n = 138; median 24 months post-burn) of Dutch and Flemish children (5-15 years) with an admission to a burn center. QOL was assessed with the Burn Outcomes Questionnaire (BOQ). The generic EuroQol-5D was used to allow for a comparison with children after injuries not related to burns. More than half of the children had long-term limitations. According to the BOQ, children frequently (>50%) experienced sub optimal functioning on 5 out of 12 dimensions, concerning 'appearance', 'parental concern', 'itch', 'emotional health' and 'satisfaction with current state'. Children with a high total burned surface area (TBSA ≥10%) showed significantly more sub optimal functioning on 'upper extremity function' (OR = 5.3; ≥20% TBSA), 'appearance' (OR = 5.5; ≥10-20% TBSA), 'satisfaction with current state' (OR = 3.4; ≥10-20% TBSA) and 'parental concern' (OR = 3.4; ≥10-20% TBSA), compared to children with less than 10% TBSA. Burn victims at 9 months post-injury appeared to be worse off at several health dimensions. After 24 months generic quality of life of in pediatric burns was more comparable to pediatric injuries not related to burns. Children after burns experience substantial problems, mainly on itch and appearance and several psychosocial dimensions. More extensive burns are related to sub optimal functioning. These problems are in part specific for burns and not picked up by generic measures.

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Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

van Baar, M., Polinder, S., Essink-Bot, M.-L., Van Loey, N., Oen, I., Dokter, J., … van Beeck, E. (2011). Quality of life after burns in childhood (5-15 years): Children experience substantial problems. Burns, 37(6), 930–938. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2011.05.004