Activity Impairment, Work Status, and Work Productivity Loss in Adults 5-7 Years after Burn Injuries

Inge Spronk*, Nancy E.E. Van Loey, Cornelis H. Van Der Vlies, Juanita A. Haagsma, Suzanne Polinder, M. E. Van Baar, Burden of Burn Injuries Study Group

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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An important aspect of the rehabilitation of burn patients is social participation, including daily activities and work. Detailed information on long-term activity impairment and employment is scarce. Therefore, we investigated activity impairment, work status, and work productivity loss in adults 5-7 years following burn injuries, and investigated associations with burn-specific health-related quality of life (HRQL) domains. Adult participants completed the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment General Health questionnaire and the Burn Specific Health Scale-brief (BSHS-B) 5-7 years post-burn. Outcomes were compared between participants with mild/intermediate and severe burns (>20% total body surface area burned). Seventy-six (36%) of the 213 participants experienced some degree of activity impairment due to burn-related problems 5-7 years post-burn. Seventy percent of the population was employed; 12% of them experienced work productivity loss due to burn-related problems. Nineteen percent reported changes in their work situation (partly) because of the burn injury. A higher proportion of participants with severe burns had activity impairments (56% vs 29%; P =. 001) and work productivity loss (26% vs 8%; P <. 001) compared to participants with mild/intermediate burns. Activity impairment and work productivity loss were both associated with burn-related work problems and lower mood, measured with the BSHS-B. In conclusion, a substantial part of the study population experienced activity impairment and work productivity loss, was unemployed, and/or reported changes in their work situation due to their injury. Particularly patients with severe burns reported productivity loss and had lower employment rates. This subscribes the importance of addressing work-related functioning in the rehabilitation of burn patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)255-262
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Burn Association.


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