The influence of advancing age on quality of life and rate of recovery after treatment for burn.Burns 2013; 39(6):1067-72B
With an ageing population the prevalence of burns in the elderly is increasing. The influence of increasing age on post-burn quality of life (QoL) is unquantified.
To examine the effect of ageing on QoL recovery after burn.
The Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief (BSHS-B) and Short Form Health Outcomes (SF-36), collected up to 24 months post-injury, for patients treated by the Royal Perth Hospital Burn Service were analysed. Multivariable analysis was adjusted for demographic and injury factors. The impact of ageing on rate of recovery was examined using BSHS-B normative data.
The cohort (n=1051) was 79.6% male with mean TBSA of 8% and age of 37.3 years. The SF-36 showed advancing age predicted poorer outcomes in physical function, role physical, vitality and role emotional domains but reduced bodily pain. The BSHS-B was affected by injury factors, not ageing. The standardised rate of recovery after burn improved with advancing age. The provision of surgery positively affected most outcomes assessed.
This study quantified the impact of ageing on post-burn QoL recovery and confirmed that physical function suffered to the greatest degree. The results emphasise the importance of pro-active burn surgery and physical rehabilitation strategies with older patients.