Objectives: The aim of the study was to determine the economic burden (direct and indirect costs) of burn victims and the impact of burn on health-related quality of life in Spain.
Methods: In 2003, a cross-sectional study was carried out with 898 burned people. Data regarding demographic features, health resource use, informal care, indirect costs and quality of life were prospectively collected through hospital admission databases and questionnaires filled out by burn victims and caregivers.
Results: The mean annual cost (direct and indirect) per burn patient was US$ 99,773. The most important categories of costs were those of in-patient care and temporary and permanent disability. Direct healthcare costs of burn patients represented 19.6% of the total. Total annual cost for burn patients in Spain was US$ 313 million. The mean health-related quality of life measured by European Quality of Life 5-Dimension score was 0.84 and the mean visual analogue score was 67.
Conclusions: The costs of burn are higher than those of many other conditions, and a cost-effectiveness assessment of the different interventions for burn should become a priority in health policy.