Follow-up after Burn Injury Is Disturbingly Low and Linked with Social Factors

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For medical and social reasons, it is important that burn patients attend follow-up appointments (FUAs). Our goal was to examine the factors leading to missed FUAs in burn patients. A retrospective chart review was conducted of adult patients admitted to the burn center from 2016 to 2018. Data collected included burn characteristics, social history, and zip code. Data analysis was conducted using chi-square, Wilcoxon Rank-Sum tests, and multivariate regression models. A total of 878 patients were analyzed, with 224 (25.5%) failing to attend any FUAs and 492 (56.0%) missing at least one appointment (MA). Patients who did not attend any FUAs had smaller burns (4.5 [8]% vs 6.5 [11]% median [inter quartile range]), traveled farther (70.2 [111.8] vs 52.5 [76.7] miles), and were more likely to be homeless (22.8% vs 6.9%) and have drug dependence (47.3% vs 27.2%). Patients who had at least one MA were younger (42 [26] vs 46 [28] years) and more likely to be homeless (17.5% vs 2.6%) and have drug dependence (42.5% vs 19.4%). On multivariate analysis, factors associated with never attending an FUA were distance from hospital (odds ratio [OR] 1.004), burn size (OR 0.96), and homelessness (OR 0.33). Factors associated with missing at least one FUA: age (OR 0.99), drug dependence (OR 0.46), homelessness (OR 0.22), and Emergency Department visits (OR 0.56). A high percentage of patients fail to make any appointment following their injury and/or have at least one MA. Both FUAs and MAs are influenced by social determinants of health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-632
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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