Objective: The aim of the study was to determine the longitudinal validity, reproducibility, responsiveness and interpretability of the adult version of the Brisbane Burn Scar Impact Profile, a patient-report measure of health-related quality of life.
Methods: A prospective longitudinal cohort study of patients with or at risk of burn scarring was conducted at three assessment points (at baseline around the time of wound healing, one to two weeks post-baseline and 1-month post-baseline). Participants attending a major metropolitan adult burn centre at baseline were recruited. Participants completed the Brisbane Burn Scar Impact Profile and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey and Patient Observer Scar Assessment Scale. Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICCs), smallest detectable change, percentage of those who improved, stayed the same or worsened and Area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (AUC) were used to test the aim.
Results: Data were included for 118 participants at baseline, 68 participants at one to two weeks and 57 participants at 1-month post-baseline. All groups of items had acceptable reproducibility, except for the overall impact of burn scars (ICC = 0.69), the impact of sensations which was not expected to be stable (ICC = 0.63), mobility and daily activities (ICC = 0.63, 0.67 respectively). The responsiveness of six out of seven groups of items able to be tested against external criterion was supported (AUC = 0.72-0.75). Hypothesised correlations of changes in the Brisbane Burn Scar Impact Profile items with changes in criterion measures generally supported longitudinal validity (e.g., nine out of thirteen hypotheses using the SF-36 as an external criterion were supported). Internal consistency estimates, item-total and inter-item correlations indicated there was likely redundancy of some groups of items, particularly in the relationships and social interaction, appearance and emotional reactions items (Chronbach's alpha range = 0.94-0.95).
Conclusion: Support was found for the reproducibility, longitudinal validity, responsiveness and interpretability of most groups of Brisbane Burn Scar Impact Profile items and some individual items in the test population. Potential redundancy of items should be investigated further.