A scoping review of burn rehabilitation publications incorporating functional outcomes

Lynn H. Gerber, Haley Bush, Radha Holavanahalli, Peter Esselman, Jeffrey Schneider, Allen Heinemann, Steven Garfinkel, Cindy Cai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: The objective for this manuscript is two-fold: determine the scope of clinical rehabilitation research involving burn-injured persons and assess whether research outcomes include function, return to needed, and desirable routines. Has this research addressed rehabilitation needs of the burn injured? Methods: We performed a scoping review of literature (1990–2016) using the method of Arksey and O'Malley. Search terms included “rehabilitation”, “function”, “burn injury” and “work”. Two independent reviewers identified articles that met criteria for abstract and full review. Variables of interest were counts of the number of intervention studies, studies performed in outpatient settings/inpatient settings, or both; count of the distribution of outcome measures that included impairment, function, participation, return to prior roles and percent of burns rehabilitation publications as a function of total rehabilitation articles published. Results: Sixty-four articles were selected for review and 22 employed an intervention. Nine articles were intervention trials that used functional measures. Of the 22 intervention trials 3 (14%) were performed while subjects were inpatients, 9 (41%) while they were outpatients, and 10 (45%) while they were both. There were 67 articles that met inclusion for work-related studies. Fourteen were intervention trials, 9 utilized functional outcomes and 5 used impairment outcomes exclusively. Less than 1% of clinical rehabilitation research addresses burns injury and <1% of the randomized trials in rehabilitation relates to burn injury Conclusions: There are few studies, few intervention trials and among these, very few that use function or return to community based activity as outcomes for people with burn injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1013
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Burns
  • Function
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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