Outcome after burn injury is a multidimensional concept, but few multidimensional, injury-specific outcome measures have been psychometrically evaluated. A recent cross-sectional study using the Burn Specific Health Scale-Brief (BSHS-B) found three psychometrically sound health domains: function, skin involvement, and affect and relations. The aim of this study was to reexamine the psychometric properties of the BSHS-B using a prospective study design.
Ninety-four consecutive adult patients with burns were included and asked to fill in questionnaires, the BSHS-B, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and the short-form 36 (SF-36), at 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months postburn.
The factor structure was replicated and the three domains, function, skin involvement, and affect and relations, had excellent internal consistency. Over time the scores of function and skin involvement increased, indicating health improvement, whereas the domain affect and relations did not change over time. At 6 months and 12 months postburn, all domains were associated with burn severity. The function domain was highly associated with the SF-36 subscales physical functioning and role-physical, the affect and relations domain was highly associated with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and the SF-36 subscales denoting psychological health, and the domain skin involvement was highly associated with subscales indicating role-concerns, social functioning, vitality, and mental health.
The psychometric properties of the BSHS-B domains were excellent and they had intelligible concurrent associations with other measures. Thus, the simplified model of the BSHS-B is a reliable, valid, and useful tool in describing postburn health over time.