Pruritus in adult burn survivors: Postburn prevalence and risk factors associated with increased intensity

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Reference Type:
Journal Article
Accession No.:
Journal of Burn Care and Research
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):
2013, vol. 34, issue 1, pp 94-101
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Study investigated self-reported postburn pruritus (itching) in two groups of adult burn survivors. Descriptive statistics, general linear regression, and mixed model repeated measures analyses were used to test statistical significance. Group 1 consisted of 637 participants who were injured from 2006 to 2010 and were followed up prospectively for 2 years from the time of injury. Prevalence and severity of pruritus were compared across multiple subgroups. Prevalence of pruritus at discharge, 6, 12, and 24 months following injury were 93, 86, 83, and 73 percent, respectively. Regression results established that burn size and the percentage of total body surface area grafted were correlated to itch intensity values. Group 2 included 336 participants injured 4 to 10 years before an assessment using the validated 5-D Itch Scale. Many patients (44.4 percent) reported itching in the area of the burn, graft, or donor site. Within this group, 76 percent reported itching for less than 6 hours per day, and 52 and 29 percent considered itch intensity to be mild or moderate, respectively. The impact of postburn pruritus on leisure, vocation, and sleep are described for those long-term survivors suffering from postburn pruritus. New predictors for postburn itch were identified to include younger age, dry skin, and raised/thick scars. The findings confirm that the prevalence of burn pruritus is high, initially affecting more than 90 percent and persisting for more than 40 percent of long-term burn survivors.
Carrougher GJ, Martinez EM, McMullen KS, Fauerbach JA, Holavanahalli RK, Herndon DN, Wiechman SA, Engrav LH, Gibran NS
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