Knowledge concerning the trajectory and predictors of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) years after burn injury is fragmentary and these factors were therefore assessed using the EQ-5D questionnaire.
Consecutive adult burn patients were included during hospitalization and assessed at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. In addition, an interview was performed at 2 years to 7 years postburn. Data concerning injury characteristics, sociodemographic variables, psychiatric disorders, and HRQoL were obtained.
The EQ-5D dimension Mobility improved between hospitalization and 3 months, while Anxiety/Depression improved between 12 months and 2 years to 7 years. Other dimensions improved gradually. At 2 years to 7 years, only the dimensions Pain/Discomfort and Usual activities were lower than in the general population. In addition, overall HRQoL was lower than in the general population when measured by EQ VAS but not by EQ-5D index. EQ-5D index at 2 years to 7 years was predicted by EQ-5D index at 12 months and concurrent work status and pain. EQ VAS at 2 years to 7 years was predicted by previous assessments of work status, posttraumatic stress disorder and EQ VAS, and concurrent work status and substance abuse. Total amount of explained variance ranged between 17% and 57%.
HRQoL after burn is conveniently screened by EQ VAS. Impairment after 2 years to 7 years is mainly reflected in the EQ dimensions Pain/Discomfort and Usual activities and can be predicted in part by information available before or at 12 months.