Pain assessment following burn injury in Australia and New Zealand: Variation in practice and its association on in-hospital outcomes

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Background: Pain is common following burn injury. Pain assessments are required to ensure appropriate pain management is provided. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and potential variation in practice of validated and documented pain assessment following burn injury in Australian and New Zealand burn units, identify clinical characteristics of patients who receive a pain assessment, and explore the associations between receiving a pain assessment and in-hospital outcomes. Methods: Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) admissions data were extracted. Responses to the pain assessment field were presented by contributing burns unit using frequencies and percentages. Demographic, injury severity and event, and in-hospital outcomes data were assessed. Results: There were 3009 admissions over the study period; 2481 of these received an assessment. The rate of pain assessment varied considerably between units. Women and adult patients more commonly received a pain assessment. Receiving a pain assessment was associated with a 53% adjusted increase in LOS. Conclusions: There are differences in the profile of patients who receive a pain assessment after burn injury. The findings of this study will be reported back to designated burns units to improve pain assessment rates and patient care.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalAustralasian Emergency Care
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Aug 2020


  • Australia
  • Burn
  • New Zealand
  • Pain
  • Pain assessment
  • Registry

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