Progress continues to be made in the development of the CARe Burns Scales, a new set of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMs) for burns patients. These new measures are age-specific, intended for completion by the parents of children aged under 8, young people aged 8-17, and adults, who are living with a burn injury.

A quantitative study is currently ongoing and recruitment of adult patients has already met its target. In ongoing work at the Centre for Appearance Research at the University of the West of England, Joint Restore Fellows for PROMs Ella Guest and Catrin Griffiths are working under the supervision of Professor Diana Harcourt to develop the new PROMs.

To this date, it is a significant challenge to accurately determine the effects of a burn injury on a person’s wellbeing. Very few burns-specific PROMs exist and patients often have to fill out generic post-injury questionnaires. While no questionnaire will ever be able to capture the full range of emotions and experiences undergone by a person who has suffered a burn injury, a set of PROMs specific to burns care would be a useful tool to help clinical psychologists and the multidisciplinary care team assess the physical and psychosocial needs of an individual and whether they are responding well to therapy.

This ongoing study will employ rigorous statistical methods to determine which questions are most relevant to burns outpatients who have returned to their communities, leading to a succinct questionnaire appropriate for the clinical setting.

Our Restore Fellows are working with a number of NHS trusts to recruit patients into the remaining arms of the study. Once the study is completed, burns patients across the country stand to benefit from this research.

By Majid Al-Khalil, Restore Student Fellow