Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Outcomes of Older Adults After Burn Injury

Older adults with burn injuries may need more time in rehab

This study examined the long-term functional and psychological status of 737 burn survivors age 55 years and older who were enrolled and followed by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research Burn Model Systems program. The study found that older adults have a more difficult time recovering from severe burn injuries than younger individuals, and these difficulties increase with age. More specifically, patients aged 75 years and older had greater loss of independence, worse health-related quality of life, and more disability after injury than those aged 55 to 74. Recovery also took longer in the older group. Based on their findings, the authors suggest that rehabilitation programs lasting up to 1 year after injury could be of tremendous benefit in helping older adults achieve the best possible recovery of functional and psychological health. (Klein MB et al. Functional and psychosocial outcomes of older adults after burn injury: results from a multicenter database of severe burn injury. J Burn Care Res 2011;32:66-78.)