Prevalence and characteristics of chronic sensory problems in burn patients

Pain. 1996 Oct;67(2-3):493-500. doi: 10.1016/0304-3959(96)03154-5.


Problems of pain and paresthesia in the healed wounds of burn patients are an understudied and poorly documented phenomenon. This descriptive study was designed to examine the prevalence and characteristics of these chronic sensory problems 1 year or more postburn. Four hundred and thirty patients were sent questionnaires which assessed the frequency and intensity of the problems, influencing factors and impact on patients' lives. These problems were assessed by rating scales (visual analogue and categorical scales) and the McGill Pain Questionnaire (MPQ). The response rate was 67%. Over one-third of the participants (36.4%) complained of pain while the prevalence of paresthetic sensations was 71.2%. More than half of the symptomatic patients experienced sensory problems every week sufficient to interfere with daily living. No relationships were found between these sensory problems and the patients' age or sex, burn etiology, or length of time elapsed since injury. Burn severity was related to the frequency of the problems. Discussion emphasizes the need for adequate treatment of these problems and suggests further research issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Burns / complications*
  • Burns / physiopathology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / epidemiology*
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Palliative Care
  • Paresthesia / epidemiology*
  • Paresthesia / etiology*
  • Paresthesia / physiopathology
  • Prevalence
  • Wound Healing