Quality of life impact as outcome in burns patients

B. Novelli, D. Melandri, G. Bertolotti, G. Vidotto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose. Severe burns have not only physical but also psychological consequences both during and after hospitalisation. By identifying the mainly impaired areas of a patient's quality of life (QoL), specific psychological support programmes can be provided. The assessment of subjectively perceived QoL impairment can also provide an indicator of the outcome of the medical and psychological treatment. Method. This study used the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP) to investigate QoL in 30 burned patients after discharge and again three months' later. Results. At the first assessment, both the physical and psychological dimensions were significantly unpaired, although there was an improvement at the 3-month follow-up, particularly in the physical dimension. Data suggest that there are QoL areas that appear to be compromised in burn patients. Even after hospital discharge, the burn injury causes major limitations that extend well beyond the physical area and involve emotional, social and relational aspects. Nevertheless, most of the categories in the physical dimension tend to improve during follow-up and, three months after the first administration, the predominant limitations are in emotional behaviour and sleep and rest in the psychosocial dimension. The SIP score matched for depth and extent of burns show that females were in poorer health than males. At the first administration, gender-related differences were particularly marked in Ambulation (p*M5), Body Care and Movement (p=.004), Home Management (p=M3), Mobility (P=Ml), Physical Dimension (p=.0O4) and the QoL general score (p=.031). Although all of these areas had improved by the time of the retest, the gender-related differences remained. The categories assessed with the Psychosocial Dimension of SlP did not correlate with tile clinical parameters of the burn, whereas those pertaining to the Physical Dimension did. Conclusion. Multidisciptinary support for burn patients appears to be necessary even many months after hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGiornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia
Issue number1 SUPPL. A
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Bums
  • Quality of life
  • Sickness impact profile

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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