Predictors of moderate to severe fatigue 12 months following admission to hospital for burn: Results from the Burns Registry of Australia and New Zealand (BRANZ) Long Term Outcomes project

Belinda J. Gabbe, Heather Cleland, Dina Watterson, Rebecca Schrale, Sally McRae, Susan Taggart, Anne Darton, Fiona Wood, Dale W. Edgar, the BRANZ Adult Long Term Outcomes

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Introduction Fatigue has been identified as an outcome of concern following burn but is rarely captured in outcomes studies. We aimed to: (i) describe the prevalence, and predictors, of moderate to severe fatigue in the first 12 months following burn, and (ii) establish the association between fatigue and health-related quality of life and work outcomes. Methods Adult burns patients, admitted >24 h, were recruited from five BRANZ sites. Participants were followed-up at 1-, 6-, and 12-months after injury using the Brief Fatigue Inventory (BFI), 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) and the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP)—work scale. Moderate to severe fatigue was defined as a global BFI score of 4–10. Multivariable mixed effects regression modelling was used to identify demographic, socioeconomic, burn size and severity predictors of moderate/severe fatigue at follow-up. Results The mean ± SD age of the 328 participants was 42.1 ± 16.7 years, 70% were male, 47% were flame burns, and the mean ± SD %TBSA was 8.7 ± 11.2. The prevalence of moderate/severe fatigue decreased from 37% at 1-month, to 32% at 6-months and 26% at 12-months. The adjusted odds of moderate/severe fatigue were 2.62 (95% CI: 1.27, 5.42) times higher for women compared to men, and 2.64 (95% CI: 1.03, 6.79) times higher in patients with a %TBSA ≥ 20. Compared to patients in major cities, the adjusted odds of reporting moderate/severe fatigue were 2.48 fold higher (95% CI: 1.17, 5.24) for patients residing in inner regional areas, and 3.60 fold (95% CI: 1.43, 9.05) higher for patients living in remote/very remote areas. At each time point, the physical and mental health summary scores, and each sub-scale score, of the SF-36 were significantly lower in patients reporting moderate/severe fatigue. Patients experiencing moderate to severe fatigue reported higher work-related disability on the SIP work scale at each time point after injury. Discussion and conclusion More than a quarter of participants reported moderate to severe fatigue on the BFI at 12-months and fatigue was strongly associated with poorer health-related quality of life and greater work-related disability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1652-1661
Number of pages10
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016


  • Burn registry
  • Cohort study
  • Fatigue
  • Outcomes
  • Quality of life

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