Although data exist on burn survival, there are little data on long-term burn recovery. Patient-centered health outcomes are useful in monitoring and predicting recovery and evaluating treatments. An outcome questionnaire for young adult burn survivors was developed and tested. This 5-year (2003-2008) prospective, controlled, multicenter study included burned and nonburned adults ages 19 to 30 years. The Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaires were completed at initial contact, 10 days, and 6 and 12 months. Factor analysis established construct validity. Reliability assessments used Cronbach α and test-retest. Recovery patterns were investigated using generalized linear models, with generalized estimating equations using mixed models and random effects. Burned (n = 153) and nonburned subjects (n = 112) completed 620 questionnaires (47 items). Time from injury to first questionnaire administration was 157 ± 36 days (mean ± SEM). Factor analysis included 15 factors: Physical Function, Fine Motor Function, Pain, Itch, Social Function Limited by Physical Function, Perceived Appearance, Social Function Limited by Appearance, Sexual Function, Emotion, Family Function, Family Concern, Satisfaction With Symptom Relief, Satisfaction With Role, Work Reintegration, and Religion. Cronbach α ranged from 0.72 to 0.92, with 11 scales >0.8. Test-retest reliability ranged from 0.29 to 0.94, suggesting changes in underlying health status after burns. Recovery curves in five domains, Itch, Perceived Appearance, Social Function Limited by Appearance, Family Concern, and Satisfaction with Symptom Relief, remained below the reference group at 24 months. The Young Adult Burn Outcome Questionnaire is a reliable and valid instrument for multidimensional functional outcomes assessment. Recovery in some domains was incomplete.
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