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 ≥5% total body surface area or burns to critical areas (hands, feet, face, or genitals).
INTERVENTIONS: Not applicable.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The LIBRE Profile was used to examine the following previously validated six scale scores of social participation: Family & Friends, Social Interactions, Social Activities, Work & Employment, Romantic Relationships, and Sexual Relationships.
RESULTS: Older participants, those who were married, and males were more likely to be burned at work (p<0.01). Burn survivors who were injured at work scored significantly lower on the Work & Employment scale score after adjusting for demographic and clinical characteristics (p=0.01). 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 & Employment scale (p<0.05). 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 utilize appropriate resources to promote and target optimal employment outcomes.