Impact of Work-Related Burn Injury on Social Reintegration Outcomes: A Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation (LIBRE) Study

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2020 Jan;101(1S):S86-S91. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2017.10.022. Epub 2017 Nov 26.


Objective: To examine differences in long-term social reintegration outcomes for burn survivors with and without work-related injuries.

Design: Cross-sectional survey.

Setting: Community-dwelling burn survivors.

Participants: Burn survivors (N=601) aged ≥18 years with injuries to ≥5% total body surface area or burns to critical areas (hands, feet, face, or genitals).

Interventions: Not applicable.

Main outcome measures: The Life Impact Burn Recovery Evaluation Profile was used to examine the following previously validated 6 scale scores of social participation: Family and Friends, Social Interactions, Social Activities, Work and Employment, Romantic Relationships, and Sexual Relationships.

Results: Older participants, those who were married, and men were more likely to be burned at work (P<.01). Burn survivors who were injured at work scored significantly lower on the Work and Employment scale score after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics (P=.01). All other domain scale scores demonstrated no significant differences between groups. Individuals with work-related injuries scored significantly worse on 6 of the 19 items within the Work and Employment scale (P<.05). These individuals were more likely to report that they were afraid to go to work and felt limited in their ability to perform at work.

Conclusions: Burn survivors with work-related injuries report worse work reintegration outcomes than those without work-related injuries. Identification of those at higher risk for work reintegration challenges after burn injury may enable survivors, providers, employers, and insurers to better use appropriate resources to promote and target optimal employment outcomes.

Keywords: Burns; Community integration; Employment; Rehabilitation; Return to work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Burns / psychology*
  • Burns / rehabilitation*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Injuries / psychology*
  • Occupational Injuries / rehabilitation*
  • Quality of Life
  • Return to Work / psychology
  • Return to Work / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology
  • Social Participation
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Trauma Severity Indices