Temperature Sensitivity after Burn Injury: A Burn Model System National Database Hot Topic

Jamie Oh, Christopher Madison, Grace Flott, Elisha G. Brownson, Stephen Sibbett, Carolina Seek, Gretchen J. Carrougher, Colleen M. Ryan, Karen Kowalske, Nicole S. Gibran, Barclay T. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


People living with burn injury often report temperature sensitivity. However, its epidemiology and associations with health-related quality of life (HRQOL) are unknown. We aimed to characterize temperature sensitivity and determine its impact on HRQOL to inform patient education after recovery from burn injury. We used the multicenter, longitudinal Burn Model System National Database to assess temperature sensitivity at 6, 12, and 24 months after burn injury. Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis tests determined differences in patient and injury characteristics. Multivariable, multilevel generalized linear regression models determined the association of temperature sensitivity with Satisfaction with Life (SWL) scale scores and Veterans RAND 12 (VR-12) physical and mental health summary component (MCS) scores. The cohort comprised 637 participants. Two thirds (66%) experienced temperature sensitivity. They had larger burns (12% TBSA, interquartile range [IQR] 4-30 vs 5% TBSA, IQR 2-15; P <. 0001), required more grafting (5% TBSA, IQR 1-19 vs 2% TBSA, IQR 0-6; P <. 0001), and had higher intensity of pruritus at discharge (11% severe vs 5% severe; P =. 002). After adjusting for confounding variables, temperature sensitivity was strongly associated with lower SWL (odds ratio [OR]-3.2, 95% confidence interval [CI]-5.2,-1.1) and MCS (OR-4.0, 95% CI-6.9,-1.2) at 6 months. Temperature sensitivity decreased over time (43% at discharge, 4% at 24 months) and was not associated with poorer HRQOL at 12 and 24 months. Temperature sensitivity is common after burn injury and associated with worse SWL and MCS during the first year after injury. However, temperature sensitivity seems to improve and be less intrusive over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1110-1119
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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