QUALITY OF LIFE AFTER BURN INJURY; A DEVELOPING COUNTRY PERSPECTIVE
Introduction: Millions of people experience severe form of burn that is often life threatening and requires extensive medical care and rehabilitation. The debilitating effect of burn is not confined to physical health only; rather it has a profound impact on a person’s functional, social and psychological health. This study was designed to assess the quality of life among individuals with burn injuries from different areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
Material & Methods: This was a cross sectional study conducted on burn survivors. The data was collected from patients who were visiting outpatient department of ‘Burn and Plastic Surgery Center Hayatabad Peshawar’. This center is the first and the only center specialized in dealing burn casualties. After applying inclusion criteria (both gender, age ≥18, %TBSA ≤40%, type of burn, duration and out-patient only) and exclusion criteria (not participating, %TBSA >40%, in-patient, not fulfilling inclusion criteria), a total 109 patients were recruited in the study using non-probability convenience sampling technique. Informed consent was taken from all the participants. Burn-Specific-Health-Scale (BSHS) was used to assess the impact of burn on quality of life (QOL). SPSS version 22 was used for data analysis.
Results: The mean age of the participants was 26.58 ± 11.37 years. The male to female ratio was 70:39. Independent t-test was used to identify the difference among different domains of BSHS. The study revealed that 67 to 69% of patients were extremely affected in work domain. On a scale of severity from 0= extremely affected to 4= not affected at all; Males were affected more in simple abilities like dressing / bathing as compared to females (p=0.03). Lack of sexual desire was reported in married people (p= 0.01). Percentage of total burn surface area (TBSA), duration and type of burn had significant effect on QOL.
Conclusion: This study concluded that burn has severely limited individuals working capacity encompassing both house chores and occupation. It has also adversely affected individual’s sensitivity to environmental temperature, self-care, sexuality and body image.